Chapter XI: 
June 1942
During the course of his conversations with Molotov at the end of May the President explained, first to General Marshall and Admiral King and then to the Prime Minister, that Iris purpose in declaring his trope and expectation of opening a second front in 1942 was to reassure the Soviet Government.1 The declaration did indeed contain an implied assurance of American independence in dealing with the Soviet Union, since it vas quite different from the noncommittal declaration that the British Government independently had made to Molotov in London. The British had stated
We are making preparations for a landing on the Continent in August or September 1942 . . . . Clearly, however, it would not further either the Russian cause or that of the Allies as a whole if, for the sake of action at any price, we embarked on sortie operation which ended in disaster and gave the enemy an opportunity for glorification at our discomfiture. It is impossible to say in advance whether the situation will be such as to make this operation feasible when the time comes. We can therefore give no promise in the matter . . . .2
The more encouraging words of the President, however they might be read as a clue to his intentions, did not cancel the words of the British Government, which had the more force since planning for the operation was centered in London and since British troops would bear the brunt of the operation for some time. Molotov was openly skeptical and asked what answers he should "take back to London and Moscow on the general question that has been raised'" The President could only answer that he was looking forward to an agreement with the British, and that
. . . Mr. Molotov could say in London that, after all, the British were even now in personal consultation with our staff officers on questions of landing craft, food, etc.. We expected to establish a second front. General Arnold would arrive next day (Tuesday,

June 2d) from London, and with him Lord Mountbatten, Marshal Portal, and General Little, with whom it was planned to arrive at an agreement on the creation of a second front.3
The President's notion of a cross-Channel operation in 1942 was very much like that he had given his military chiefs earlier-a great air offensive over northwestern Europe that should be accompanied by landings on a scale appropriate to the circumstances. He explained his, idea to the Prime Minister:
After discussion with the Staffs, I believe that the German air forces cannot be destroyed unless they have been forced to take the air by preliminary or temporary actions by ground forces. If we can start this phase early in August we can produce one of the following results:
1. Divert German air forces from the Russian front and attempt to destroy them.
2. If such air forces are not moved to the west, we can increase our operations with ground forces and determine on the establishment of permanent positions as our objective.4
The President's plan rested on the assumptions that the RAF, with American reinforcements, would be so powerful and control of the air so decisive that Germany would have to divert air forces from the Eastern Front in order to prevent Allied forces from establishing a beachhead or to dislodge them once they had established one. But even on these assumptions the chance of a strategic success was directly in proportion to the risk of tactical failur--the stronger the German reaction, the more probable the result that Allied troops would once again have to be evacuated in the face of superior German forces, as earlier from Norway, Dunkerque, and Greece.
The Revival of Gymnast
Whether or not the President was prepared to run such a risk, it was becoming quite plain that the British Government was not on this occasion prepared to do so. The British Government, in the statement delivered to Molotov, had already declared itself opposed to undertaking "for the sake of action at any price" an operation "which ended in disaster and gave the enemy an opportunity for glorification at our discomfiture." The opposition of the British Government was reinforced, if not produced, by the hope and expectation of diverting the President's interest in a second front from a cross-Channel operation to some other operation more in conformity with British strategy.
The visit of Lord Louis Mountbatten to Washington (to which the President alluded in his final conversation with Molotov) was the opening of the British campaign to achieve this objective. On 28 May, while Molotov was on his way to Washington, the Prime Minister had sent ahead a report of the talks in London. The gist of the report was that the British Government had given no commitment to undertake an operation, but had simply discussed the current state of plans and preparations, though holding out the possibility of more definite statements after the talks in Washington were over. In the same report the Prime Minister had also notified the President that he would soon send

Mountbatten to talk over difficulties that had arisen in planning for cross-Channel operations and also to present the idea of an operation in northern Norway (JUPITER). To gain a foothold in northern Norway would serve the valuable purpose of securing the northern route for sending supplies to the Soviet Union. It went without saying that it would also serve. to redeem the British failure in Norway, which had been tile occasion of Churchill's rise to power in 1940. Besides this operation, Churchill also alluded to his earlier plea for all operation in North Africa-"We must never let GYMNAST pass from our minds."5  
Coming to Washington early in June, Mountbatten presented to the President and Hopkins the British case against trying to gain a foothold across the English Channel in 1942 (SLEDGEHAMMER). The principal point in the British case was that given the number of landing craft available, tile operation must be so limited that Germany (which then had all estimated twenty-five divisions in France) would not have to withdraw ground forces from the Russian front to deal with it. The President suggested postponing tile operation until later in the fall, so as to provide more landing craft, American troops, and materiel. The postponement would carry with it the disadvantage that there would be less time to seize a port. Mountbatten pointed out that, in order to support the expedition through the winter, it would be necessary to hold a port, perhaps Cherbourg, since it was out of the question to supply troops over the beaches in winter.
British misgivings about SLEDGEHAMMER inevitably raised the question of the feasibility of ROUNDUP, the operation projected for /1943. If it would not be sound to launch SLEDGEHAMMER even as a desperate reaction to the imminent collapse of Soviet resistance, then the possibility of such a collapse might serve as a basis to argue against, rather than for, BOLERO. The idea evidently occurred to the President, for he remarked (as quoted by Mountbatten) that he "did not wish to send a million soldiers to England and find, possibly, that a complete collapse of Russia had made a frontal attack oil France impossible." He then expressed the closely related proposition that it might be wise to divert perhaps six American divisions (the number due to be sent to the British Isles in the summer and early fall) to the Middle East or to operations in French North Africa. He also owned that he had been much struck with the Prime Minister's admonition not to forget GYMNAST.6
A fey days after Mountbatten's conversation with the President, Marshall had his staff prepare for submission to the President a summary of the most recent studies of the Army planners on GYMNAST. The earlier plans (for SUPER-GYMNAST) has provided for the use of the American force in conjunction with a British force of about 90,000, including three divisions, and had contemplated landings at Algiers as well as near Casablanca. The June studies en-

visaged the use of only American forces and an invasion to be supplied only through the Atlantic ports of French Morocco, principally Casablanca. The use of American troops was expected to conciliate French opinion and save shipping; the use of the Atlantic ports, to minimize losses of both shipping and the naval escort committed to support the operation. The June studies assumed full French co-operation, Spanish neutrality, and the availability of British shipping assigned to the Middle East run. They estimated tire American force at 220,000, including six divisions and twenty-four squadrons of planes, as compared with the force of about 150,000, including four divisions and the Eighth Air Force, which the earlier American plans had allotted to SUPER-GYMNAST.7
General Marshall advised against undertaking the operation. he mentioned the reasons why the operation itself was risky--that it would gain momentum slowly. and would for some time hang on uncertain political decisions. He also drew attention to the danger of "thinning out" naval escort to meet new commitments. But these objections, however serious in themselves, were incidental to his main objection, which he expounded at length, that a North African operation would be an untimely, ineffectual departure from BOLERO.8
Marshall and his staff had good reason to be concerned over the possibility of a reversion to GYMNAST. On 17 June the President took tip the question with his military, advisers, in anticipation of the arrival of the Prime Minister and his staff in the United States. Secretary- Stimson, who shared the belief of Marshall and his staff, was no less concerned and he wrote a long memorandum of his own to the President-his "brief in defense of BOLERO."9
On 19 June, the day on which the Secretary submitted his views to the President, the Prime Minister and his staff arrived in the 'United States to take tip the problems discussed by the President and Mountbatten against the background of the already critical situation in Libya.10 The Prime Minister went to Hyde Park to go over the ground with the President and Hopkins. The British Chiefs of Staff went directly to Washington to confer with the American Chiefs of Staff.

The staff conversations in Washington began oil a note of agreement-agreement to wait and see before making new plans. The British and American chiefs alike had under them field and fleet commanders whom they could not provide forehandedly with adequate means to react to enemy moves, whether strong or weak. Over them were their respective heads of government, inclined to minimize the dangers of leaving field and fleet operations so dependent on decisions in the capitals and the arrival of reinforcements sent hurriedly and belatedly from home. As professional officers, the Chiefs of Staff were uncomfortably aware how quickly military situations could change and how important it was to have uncommitted reserves in the field and at home. In this respect they were more cautious than the President and the Prime Minister.
Of the many contingencies for which allowance had to be made, the greatest was then, as before, a decisive turn in the German offensive in Russia. The key to the War Department's entire theory of operations in 1942 was the contention that Great Britain and the United State must be prepared to react to a rapid change in the situation oil the Eastern front. The forces committed to SLEDGEHAMMER constituted in effect a strategic reserve for that purpose. The need for such a reserve was borne out by the latest British intelligence estimate, transmitted from London the week before, on the "possible course of [the] Russian Campaign and its implications." This estimate included the statement
Margin between success or failure very narrow and it may be touch and go, which adversary collapses first. If Germans realize they cannot avoid further winter campaign in Russia and faced with threat of Anglo-American invasion in the West, collapse may, as in 1918, ensue with startling rapidity.11
General Eisenhower welcomed the British estimate, which brought into relief the very point on which rested the case for a rapid concentration of forces in the British Isles the strong possibility of a quick shift in the situation on the Eastern Front. Eisenhower commented: "Time for us to do something- - whatever we can!" He suggested to Col. John R. Deane that General Marshall should consider sending the estimate to the President, for the sake of the statement it contained of the favorable and unfavorable factors in the campaign-Soviet morale, numbers, and production as against the superior German position, armor, and command, even though the estimate itself was perhaps "too rosy," as the British Chiefs of Staffs had been inclined to believe.12
The British Chiefs of Staff, in view of the uncertainty of the war on the Eastern Front, agreed with the American Chiefs that American and British plans should be left contingent on the issue of the summer's operations.. In the opening meeting in Washington, they declared that in the consideration of plans for the rest of 1942 "the crux of the matter was the degree of reliance we could place on the Russian front holding." On this point they themselves suspended judgment, saying:
The position was hard to assess and. while General Anders [Lt. Gen. Wladislaw L. Anders, Commander in Chief. Polish Army in the Middle East] felt that if the Germans could exert on the Russian front this summer three-quarters of the effort they had achieved

in 1941 the Russians would crack. he doubted if the Germans could produce this degree of effort No preparations for any large attack had been reported and the Russians showing, both at Sevastopol and in the Kharkov area, was encouraging.
The British Chiefs gave little encouragement to hopes of launching operations in 1942, except for raids, across the English Channel. But they saw a mood chance of establishing forces on the Continent in 1943 so long as the Red Army held its own. They held, moreover, that it would be wise in any event to go ahead with BOLERO until September 1942. By that time they expected it to be possible to make a reliable estimate of the situation on the Eastern Front. If it should then seem likely that the Red Army would hold its own during the fall and winter, it would be sound to concentrate on preparations for an invasion in 1943. If not, American reinforcements that had by then been shipped to the British Isles would be needed for the defense of the British Isles. It would then be necessary to prepare for an alternative operation, perhaps in North Africa. But until then the BOLERO plan "held good on either hypothesis" as to the outcome of events on the Eastern Front.13
The American representatives did not formally abandon the position Marshall had previously taken. Eisenhower's comment was of particular interest in view of his view assignment in London. He expressed a reluctance to discontinue plans for SLEDGEHAMMER, asserting that if the collapse of Soviet resistance seemed imminent, "there was a possibility at least of securing a bridgehead and holding it as Malta or Tobruk had been held," and that the attempt, if supported by the full power of air forces in the British Isles, would compel the Germans to withdraw air forces from the Eastern Front. King said he was "entirely opposed" to operations in North Africa in 1942. He was against opening a new front "with all the increase in overheads and escort and transportation problems involved therein." The situation in North Africa at the time "did not augur well" for an operation in 1942. Finally, the operation would require the withdrawal of naval forces from the Pacific. thus increasing the risks already taken there, "which had given him considerable anxiety.14
There was small chance of agreement with the British staff on the subject of SLEDGEHAMMER. But Sir Charles Little, representing the British Navy, said that he "felt sure" Sir Dudley Pound would agree with Admiral King in opposing GYMNAST, since the naval situation in the Atlantic "was already difficult enough without taking on a large new commitment."15 Indeed, the British staff appeared ready to concur in the other objections raised, against GYMNAST that it would cut reinforcements to the Middle East without compensating effects, Would probably have little effect on the Eastern Front, and would slow down BOLERO.16 The willingness of the British staff to agree that GYMNAST was unsound and that BOLERO should be continued, created broad ground for agreement with the American Chiefs of Staff. Marshall at once moved over to this ground:
GENERAL MARSHALL said that large scale operations on the Continent in 1943

would clearly not be possible unless all efforts were concentrated now, on their preparation. If we changed our plan now, and opened up another front, we should probably achieve nothing. If we went ahead, we should at least ensure the safety of the United Kingdom. happened in Russia. and any change of plan could by made in about September when we know- what the situation on the Eastern front was going to be.
As a token of his willingness to come to agreement on this basis, he at once agreed that there was "no reason" why the United States should not send an armored division to the Middle East to help relieve the critical situation there.17
The main points of agreement the CCS set down in the form of a paper for submission to the President and the Prime Minister. Their report advised against any considerable operation in the Atlantic theater in 1942 unless it became necessary or "an exceptionally favorable opportunity presented itself.''. They advised further study of possible operations in Western Europe given such a contingency---against Brest, the Channel Islands, or northern Norway. As to the comparative merits of these operations, they concluded:
In our view each would be accompanied by certain hazards that would be justified only by reasons that where compelling in nature. Any of these plans, however, would be preferable to undertaking Gymnast, especially from the standpoint of dispersing base organization, lines of sea communication, and air strength.18
The CCS did not present these conclusions formally to the President and the Prime Minister.19 For them to have done so would have been presumptuous and useless, for the conversations that had been going on meanwhile at Hyde Park had taken a very different turn from the staff talks in Washington. The Prime Minister opened with a dramatic appeal to the President's known desire for "action" in 1942. He declared that the British were making "arrangements" for a landing of six or eight divisions across the Channel in September, as they had agreed to do. But, he went on, "no responsible British military authority" had so far been able to make a plan for September 1942 "which had any chance of success unless the Germans become utterly demoralized of which there is no likelihood." He asked whether the American staffs had a plan:
If so, what is it? What forces would be employed? At what points would they strike? What landing craft and shipping are available? Who is the officer prepared to command the enterprise? What British forces and assistance are required?
If, he maintained, a plan could be found that offered "a reasonable prospect of Success," he would be glad to agree to it:
. . . HIS MAJESTY'S GOVERNMENT will certainly, welcome it and will share to the full with their American comrades the risks and sacrifices. This remains our settled and agreed policy.
But if a plan could not be found that offered a good chance of establishing a permanent lodgment on the Continent, the British Government was opposed to undertaking the operation at all, on the grounds that it "would not help the Russians whatever their plight, would compromise and expose to NAZI vengeance the French population involved and would gravely delay the main operation in 1943.'' The

Prime Minister then put the argument for GYMNAST thus:
But in case no plan can be made in which any responsible authority has good confidence. and consequently no engagement on a substantial scale in France is possible in September 1942, what else are we going to do? Can we afford to stand idle in the Atlantic Theatre during the whole of 1942? Ought we not to be preparing within the general structure of BOLERO some other operation by which we may gain positions of advantage and also directly or indirectly to take some of the weight off Russia? It is in this setting and on this background that the operation GYMNAST should be studied.20
The President responded as readily to the approach of the Prime Minister as the American staff in Washington had to the approach of the British Chiefs of Staff. On the next day Hopkins sent to Marshall and King, along with the Prime Minister's appeal, the instructions that they should prepare to discuss with the President the following possibilities:
On the assumption that the Russian Army will be hard pressed and retreating in July: that the German forces are in August (1) dangerously threatening Leningrad and Moscow and (2) have trade a serious break through on the southern front threatening the Caucasus:
On the above assumptions, at what point or points can (a) American ground forces prior to September 15, 1942, plan and execute an attack on German forces or in German controlled areas which can compel the withdrawal of German forces from the Russian front: (b) British forces in the same area or in a different area aid in the same objective? 21
These questions of the President, like those of the Prime :Minister, brought into sharp relief the one point on which the British and American staffs had disagreed-the grounds for trying to establish a bridgehead on the Continent in 1942. The War Department staff drafted studies on both sets of questions, in the form of memoranda, for submission to the President.22
To the Prime Minister's assertion that his staff, after detailed study, had advanced no plan acceptable to the British Government, the War Department staff proposed to reply, not by offering different operational plans, but by appealing to the original agreement, the very purpose of which was, so far as operations in 1942 were concerned, to get ready to do what could be done, in case something must be done. The War Department had not even made a detailed operational plan, it having been agreed in April that the detailed plans would be made in London. But the War Department was still ready to recommend an operation in the situation and for the purpose originally described by Marshall-to do what was possible to meet a sudden turn of events, for better or worse, on the Continent. Accord-

Photo - CHURCHILL AT PARACHUTE TROOP DEMONSTRATION, Fort Jackson, S. C., during his visit to Washington, June 1942. Left to right: General Marshall; Field Marshal Sir John Dill; Prime Minister Churchill; Secretary Stimson; Maj. Gen. R. L. Eichelberger, Commanding General, U. S. I Corps; General Sir Alan Brooke.
his visit to Washington, June 1942. Left to right: General Marshall; Field Marshal Sir John Dill;
Prime Minister Churchill; Secretary Stimson; Maj. Gen. R. L. Eichelberger, Commanding
General, U. S. I Corps; General Sir Alan Brooke.
ing to current studies, the American forces that could be employed in such a contingency would be three (possibly four) infantry divisions, one armored division, one regiment of parachute troops, five heavy bomber groups, five fighter groups, and two transport groups. Marshall had proposed landing in the Pas-de-Calais area, but the staff was also willing to consider other possible operations that had not been thoroughly explored-against the Channel Islands or the Cotentin peninsula or (with sufficient support from carrier-borne planes) against Brittany or even farther south along the west coast of France. On landing craft, the staff adopted the figures given in a recently approved combined study. The craft available would have a capacity of about 20,000 men, about 1,000 heavy vehicles, and something over 300 light vehicles. But according to the War Department, several expedients might be used to land more men---to reduce the transport assigned to assault divisions and to use transport planes and makeshift with small craft not specifically adapted to the purpose. The War Department held that, by cutting into the transport requirements of the assault troops and using smaller and lighter vehicles, it might be possible to land the combat elements of two divisions, and proposed further investigation of the other expedients. The War Department was not disposed to make an issue of command, de-

claring only that the United States would name a qualified American officer or accept a qualified British officer. Finally, the staff repeated the estimate Marshall had originally presented---that the British could supply "at least 5 divisions and the bulk of its air force without undue hazard to the United Kingdom.23
The Army staff adduced three arguments in support Of SLEDGEHAMMER. First, the staff pointed out that the original agreement explicitly envisaged a desperate operation against odds. Its aim would be to secure a bridgehead on the Continent, but like any operation against odds, it might of course "lead to disaster." It would not be in accord with the original agreement nor would it be in accord with the demands of the situation predicated therein to make a strong likelihood of success a condition of launching the operation.
Second, the staff pointed out that the "power of the immense British Air Force in the U. K. alone, in support of operations within its effective range. would more than counter balance many shortages in other means." The staff therefore asked
If disaster is to be expected in an operation supported by the entire British Air Force based in the U.K. and a large increment from the United States Army Air Force, what chance can any other operation without such support have?
Third, the staff reasserted the closely related proposition that the preliminary air offensive against the Continent, together with large-scale raids across the Channel, were more likely than attacks at any other point "to directly or indirectly take some of the weight off Russia." The German High Command could not afford to disregard even the threat to establish a front on the Continent. A "continuous air offensive" would "without a doubt bring on the major air battle over Western Europe." This battle "in itself would probably be the greatest single aid we could possibly give to Russia.
In conjunction with this last point the staff examined the Prime Minister's question of "standing idle" in 1942 and his proposal to reconsider GYMNAST. The staff offered the proposition that to mount a continuous air offensive and launch large-scale raids against the Continent would not be to "stand idle." The previously expressed views of the President indicated that he might find this argument acceptable. Finally, the staff came to GYMNAST itself
The operation GYMNAST has been studied and restudied. Its advantages and disadvantages are well known. One of the greatest disadvantages is the fact that the operation, even though successful, may [not] and probably will not result in removing one German soldier, tank, or plane from the Russian front.24
The staff dwelt on this last point in drafting a reply to the questions posed by the President and Hopkins. The staff pointed out that the War Department had considered the obvious alternative courses before ever proposing the concentration of American forces for a cross-Channel operation, and reasserted that only such an operation, carried out boldly and inventively by Brit-

ish and American forces together, could cause withdrawal of German forces from the Eastern Front before 15 September:
British and American forces can execute an attack prior to September 15. 1942, somewhere in the area between Holland inclusive and Spain inclusive, of sufficient power possibly to threaten German security and thus cause them to divert forces from the Russian Front. The success attained in such operations will be based on many factors, such as:
Acceptance of sacrifice and danger in securing a lodgment and in conducting vigorous exploitation.
Intelligent and wholehearted adaptation of expedients and improvisations throughout all phases of the operation.
The staff explicitly recognized that the BOLERO plan entailed a change in British strategy:
Prior to the acceptance of the Bolero Plan. British deployments and operations apparently were undertaken primarily with a view to maintaining the integrity of the British Empire. The Bolero Plan insures coordination and cooperation within the United Nations and envisages the creation of conditions that will facilitate continuity of offensive effort to bring about the decisive defeat of the enemy.
The staff' concluded:
a. If the Germans have a strangle hold upon the Russian Army they will not be diverted from their purpose by pin prick operations. The farther any such pin prick operation is removed from the Nazi citadel, the less will be its effect.
b. Modern war requires that successful employment of ground forces must be supported by over-whelming air power. The most effective air support can be accomplished by the operations contemplated in the Bolero Plan.
c. Accepting calculated risks and based on sound strategic considerations, the Modified Bolero Plan promises the best chance of diverting German forces from the Eastern Front in 1942.25
On 21 June the Prime Minister and General Marshall presented their cases to the President at a long, heated meeting at the White House, also attended by Hopkins, General Sir Alan Brooke, and Maj. Gen. Sir Hastings Ismay.26 After the meeting was over Ismay drafted for consideration by the American chiefs a new version of the CCS report on offensive operations for 1942-43, a version in keeping with the Prime Minister's stated views on the subject. The new version began as follows:
1. Plans and preparations for operations on the continent of Europe in 1943 on as large a scale as possible are to be pushed forward with all speed and energy. It is, however, essential that the United States and Great Britain should be prepared to act offensively in 1942.
2. Operations in Western Europe in 1942 would, if successful, yield greater political and strategic gains than operations in any other theatre. Plans and preparations for the operations in this theatre are to be pressed forward with all possible speed, energy and ingenuity. The most resolute efforts must be made to overcome the obvious dangers and difficulties of the enterprise. If a sound and sensible plan can be contrived, we should not hesitate to give effect to it. If on the other hand detailed examination shows that despite all efforts, success is improbable, we must be ready with an alternative.27
These conclusions nullified the agreement reached on 20 June by the CCS to discourage any new operation across the Atlantic in 1942. The effect on that agreement was

still more evident in the next conclusion, proposing an alternative to SLEDGEHAMMER, which General Ismay formulated as follows
3. Provided that political conditions are favorable, the best alternative in 1942 is Operation Gymnast. Accordingly the plans for this operation should be completed in all details as soon as possible. The forces to be employed in GYMNAST would in the main be found from BOLERO units which had not yet left the United States.28
This conclusion was quite different from the agreement of the CCS, who, having listed other operations besides SLEDGEHAMMER that might be launched from the British Isles, had concluded that, risky as they were, any of them "would be preferable to undertaking GYMNAST."
The War Department staff at once seized upon the statement. Working from Marshall's notes of the meeting, the senior Army planner (General Handy) and the U. S. Secretary of the Combined Chiefs of Stall (General Smith) drafted a different version which they believed to be "more in line" with Marshall's ideas "as to the points on which we should agree." In their version, GYMNAST was simply one alternative, along with operations on the Iberian Peninsula (which General Ismay had mentioned) or against northern Norway (a project known to be a favorite of the Prime Minister).29 They realized that they themselves would "not be able to reconcile the two drafts with the British." 30 They left the task to Marshall, who succeeded, in working out a compromise with the British, which was circulated on 24 June. In this, the final draft, Ismay's version of the controversial passage was modified to begin: "The possibilities of operation Gymnast will be explored carefully and conscientiously, and plans will be completed in all details as soon as possible."31
American Commitments to the Middle East
The Prime Minister's effort to reinstate GYMNAST as an Allied plan coincided with the development of a very dangerous military situation in Libya. At the end of May the Afrika Korps had taken the offen-

sive. At first the British staff had been rather optimistic. But in the interval between Admiral Mountbatten's visit of reconnaissance in Washington and the arrival of the Prime Minister and his Chiefs of Staff, operations took a turn for the worse. Under heavy attack the British Eighth Army gave way along the line Ain el Gazala and, after a battle on 12 June in which it lost a great many tanks (estimated to have been 300) , began retreating eastward. During the confusion of the retreat came the unexpected news of the fall of Tobruk (21 June), which had a strong effect in both Washington and London, for Tobruk had held during the previous German offensive (April 1941 ) and its loss gave General field Marshall Erwin Rommel a good port through which to support his advance eastward.32
The Establishment of USAFIME
The opening success of the German campaign in the Libyan Desert virtually assured the ratification of some such agreement as the American and British air chiefs had worked out in London providing for an American air force in the Middle Fast, and made the establishment of an Army command in Cairo urgent.33 On 16 June the War Department issued directives to establish regional commands in Africa and the Middle East.34 The War Department set up two commands-U. S. Army Forces in the Middle East (USAFIME) under Maj. Gen. Russell L. Maxwell, with headquarters at Cairo, and U. S. Army Forces in Central Africa (USAFICA) under Brig. Gen. Shepler W. Fitzgerald, with headquarters at Accra (British West Africa). USAFICA was set up to supervise the construction and defense of airfields across Africa, a mission of importance to, but distinct from, the defense of both India and the Middle East. The jurisdiction of USAFIME covered most U. S. Army installations within the territory formerly assigned to the North African and Iranian missions 35
The establishment of USAFIME pointed to a new policy, the scope of which was as yet very uncertain. General Maxwell was at last promised service units (about 6,000 men), and Services of Supply proceeded to activate the required units (over and above the 1942 Troop Basis) for shipment beginning in October.36 But the new headquarters would acquire much broader responsibilities than those of a service command if American air units should arrive in Egypt. The choice of Maxwell was dictated by expediency and uncertainty, to maintain the continuity of American British relations in Cairo, and the War Department made this quite clear with the first message that informed him of the establishment of the new command. He was to be

the "initial" commander, but "in case an appreciable number of combat troops" were sent out later on, he would "probably" be replaced.37
Air Reinforcements
The defense of Egypt depended, first of all, on gaining time to re-equip, reorganize, and reinforce the Eighth Army. It was of decisive importance to slow clown the arrival of German replacements and reserves of men, equipment, and supplies, and therefore of the greatest urgency to reinforce the British Middle Fast air force, in particular with bomber. The principal objectives were the North African ports (including the newly won port of Tobruk) at which Axis replacements and reserves arriving from Europe must be unloaded and assembled before beginning the trip eastward across Libya.
The first step taken by the United States to help iii the emergency was to hold in Egypt a special group of B-24's assigned to China, under Col. Harry A. Halverson.38 This group (HALPRO) had been ordered to stop en route to undertake one dangerous special mission, the bombing of oil fields and storage areas at Ploesti, Rumania.39 On 11-12 June, twelve or thirteen planes of the group had carried out this mission-the first U. S. air mission flown against any strategic target in Europe-with inconclusive results.40 At British request, seven others on 15 June, flew a mission against Italian Fleet units in the Mediterranean.41 Colonel Halverson reported that if he were to fly one more mission he would not have enough planes left from the twenty-four originally assigned to him to proceed with his mission to the Far East.42 His group was nevertheless ordered to remain in Egypt until further notice to fly any mission in support of the British for which heavy bombers were suitable.43
To reinforce the HALPRO group the President decided to borrow for use in the Mediterranean the bomber echelon of the Tenth Air Force in India. 'this small force, under General Brereton, had finally, late in May, been transferred from British com-

mand to General Stilwell.44 Stilwell had hardly had a chance to put it to use when the order arrived from Washington on 23 June to send Brereton to Cairo with his heavy bombers (twenty-four, ten of which were then in shape to go).45 Brereton was to return his force to Stilwell's command when he had completed his mission of assisting the British in the Middle East. On his arrival in Cairo he took command of a new overseas headquarters, U. S. Army Air Forces in the Middle East.46
A third emergency measure taken in Washington during June, at the direction of the President, was to begin moving from the United States a squadron of light bombers (A-29's) assigned to the Tenth Air Force and to order it held at Khartoum in the Sudan. The President did not intend these planes to be committed in the :Middle East except in case of extreme necessity, and then only at his direction.47 The Chinese Government first learned of the decision only- after it was made and at once expressed strong resentment, at first understanding that the United States was diverting these planes to the Middle East, as it had already diverted the HALPRO group and the 9th Bomber Squadron of the Tenth Air Force.48 The President quickly explained his reasons and corrected the misunderstanding, and held to his decision.49 It was not until the end of July, when the squadron was assembled at Khartoum, that he released it to proceed to China.50 These actions did not undo the effect of the diversions of air units and planes. The diversions themselves, and the fact that they were made-as the earlier diversion of the Tenth Air Force in April had been made--without even consulting the Chinese Government, precipitated a new, still more violent outbreak of resentment in Chungking, and the issuance of an ultimatum-the "three

demands" of Chiang Kai-shek for American support--that became the starting point of a new set of negotiations with China.51
The United States had meanwhile undertaken a much more ambitious project to reinforce the Middle East air force, under the compromise that General Arnold had brought back front London early in the month.52 This compromise was still un-ratified, and far from clarified, when the British Chiefs arrived in Washington. The Army planner then sent the other members of the CPS a schedule listing eight groups for the Middle East, with a view to an early settlement. Arnold at the same time directed that three groups should be prepared for shipment early in July-a heavy bomber group, it medium bomber group, and, if possible, a pursuit group. But the details of the final settlement were still so uncertain that the operations staff thought it "inadvisable" to pass on the information to Maxwell in Cairo.53
On 21 June General Arnold, Admiral Towers, and Air Vice Marshal Slessor (representing Air Marshal Portal) signed art agreement covering the long controverted issues. Under the Arnold-Slessor-Towers (or Arnold-Portal-Towers) agreement the United States would send to the Middle East six (not eight) air group some group of heavy bombers, two of medium bombers, and three fighter groups.54
Even before concurring in the proposed agreement, Marshall and King went ahead to direct the movement of the three groups that Arnold had ordered prepared- --a heavy bomber group, a medium bomber group, and a fighter group. The 57th Fighter Group (P 40's) was ordered to begin loading at once on the USS Ranger, loaned by the -Navy to transport the planes and crews to Takoradi (Gold Coast), whence the, would fly to Cairo. A group of B-24's the 98th Bombardment Group. Heavy already partly assembled in Florida and a group of B-25's (the 12th Bombardment Group, Medium) then in California were scheduled to fly to Cairo by the South Atlantic ferry route, the first squadrons to depart as soon as they were ready.55 Ground echelons and equipment were to leave early in July by the SS Pasteur.56 Finally, on 25 June, Marshall and King, having initiated action to move the three first groups to the diddle East, tentatively and informally concurred in the Arnold- Portal-Towers agreement, so as to settle the matter before the Prime Minister's return to London, which was urgent in view of the criticism awaiting him in Parliament on the conduct of the war in Libya. They- concurred, "subject of course to such modifications as may be made necessary, by unforeseen changes in the shipping

situation or in aircraft production."57 A week later the CCS tentatively approved the agreement, subject to the same qualification.58
Ground Reinforcements
The possibility- of sending large American ground forces to the Middle East came tip during the June conferences as one of the points the President had mentioned to Mountbatten on his visit to Washington.59 In the British summary of the President's remarks the point appeared as follows:
The possibility of economizing shipping by dispatching substantial U. S. forces to the Middle East rather than by reinforcing the :fiddle East by British forces from the United Kingdom.60
The President's suggestion w as pertinent to the immediate situation, since the British deployment program then provided for sending, three divisions (one of them an armored division), to the Middle East by the early part of August, and the British Chiefs of Staff were considering the movement of two more divisions "if the situation deteriorated."61 The President's suggestion was also pertinent in that it offered an alternative to GYMNAST and SLEDGEHAMMER, and thus a way out of the impasse created by the disagreement of the Prime Minister and General Marshall.
On the basis of the initial rapprochement with the British Chiefs, General Marshall made a modest opening bid toward a settlement. -At the second meeting with the British Chiefs (20 June), Marshall announced that he "had been examining the possibility of sending a U. S. armored division, desert trained, to the East, and saw do reason why this should not be done. The division was available."62 Following the conference at the White House on 21 June, the Combined Military Transportation Committee was directed to consider the implications, for shipping, of moving the 2d Armored Division to the Middle East.63 The committee met on 23 June and drew up alternative schedules, variously- affecting BOLERO.64 The War Department was at the same time considering what units would have to go with the 2d Armored Division if it were sent to the Middle East as part of a task force, under the command of Maj. Gen. George S. Patton, Jr.65

But the White House meeting of 21 June, which put the planners to work on the project, also showed that the Prime Minister was not to be diverted from his hope of invading French North Africa. As a result, the CCS did not act on Marshall's offer, though they- did not entirely eliminate it from possible consideration.66 Then the CCS met on the morning of 25 June to consider the findings of the committee on deployment to the Middle East, Marshall, though he did not withdraw his offer, made an additional proposal. The new proposal was one he could offer and the British Chiefs of Staff could accept by itself, noncommittally, while awaiting a determination of the question of operations in 1942, from which the disposition of the 2d Armored Division could not be dissociated. Marshall proposed that the Army send to Egypt 300 Nf4 tanks and 100 self-propelled 105-mm. guns and 150 men specially qualified to work with tanks and self-propelled artillery (as well as 4,000 Air Corps personnel, under the three group deployment program for July). This movement would involve no direct conflict with BOLERO schedules. He also offered to make available, in the United Kingdom, instructors and equipment from the 1st Armored Division to train British troops in the use of the American equipment sent to the Middle East.67 On the same day the President and the Prime Minister approved this proposal and the War Department went to work to carry it out.68
The Crisis in Egypt
The American response to the crisis in the Middle East, prompt though it was, affected operations during the summer mainly as a factor in the plans of the British commands in London and Cairo and only incidentally as a factor in the balance of forces on the Egyptian front. During July the actual striking force at General Brereton's disposal in Egypt-the depleted HALPRO group, with the reinforcements from India-was strong enough only to send out a few planes at a time.69 These

flights continued the task already begun by the HALPRO group, attacking shipping and port installations to prevent supplies and reinforcements from reaching the Afrika Korps.
It was several weeks before the planes sent out from the United States could begin operating in Egypt. The USS Ranger, with the 57th Fighter Group. sailed on 1 July; the first echelons of the bomber groups left in mid-July, and at the same time the USS Pasteur sailed with the first troops and equipment.70 The first planes arrived in Egypt at the end of the month.71 Ground personnel and equipment began to arrive during the first part of August.72
The ground force equipment took even longer to arrive. The guns and tanks were at first to be shipped in two seatrains but were loaded instead in three fast ships, which sailed early in July. One ship was sunk; its cargo of tanks and guns was replaced and loaded on another.73 The ships arrived in Egypt early in September.74
These movements of American troops and equipment were begun in a state of extreme uncertainty over the outcome of the battle in the desert. In the last week of June, following the return of the Prime :Minister and his party to England, the British Eighth Army continued to fall back until it finally established its main line of defense at El Alamein, only seventy-five miles west of -Alexandria. On 29 June Maj. Gen. George V. Strong, Assistant Chief of Staff, G 2, believed that it would be a matter of a week or less before the "final military decision" and warned that the "probability of a British catastrophe must now be counted upon." He therefore recommended that no more planes be sent to the Middle East and that all supplies at sea be stopped at Massaua (Eritrea) "until the military situation in Egypt becomes clarified." 75
On the following day 'Marshall asked his staff for an estimate of the situation to give to the President. General Strong was again pessimistic. The chief of operations, Brig. Gen. Thomas T. Hand, was somewhat less so. His more hopeful view was shared by General Smith who, as American secretary to the CCS, was most closely in touch with current British views. They talked over the situation by telephone while Handy was working on the estimate to be sent to the President, comparing notes as follows:

Smith: I believe I'd cross off that statement on the bottom about there being a strong possibility of their being in Cairo in 96 hours. I'm inclined to doubt that. They have scrapped [sic] up over 300 tanks.
Handy: I said two weeks. he quoted me for that. He quoted George Strong for 96 hours. That statement we had in there Strong dictated. He asked me in his office and I told him 2 weeks because I don't feel it's gone at all.
Smith: These Johnnies up here feel there's a darn good chance.
Handy: Rommel's, pretty well strung out. That depression [Qattara depression] must be a helluva place to do anything in. He's got Tobruk now and that's a good harbor they've never had before. Still another fellow had it before he did.
Smith: Apparently there's not much left there. They got everything out of Matruh. Their idea is not to get pinned down anywhere and they're wise there.76
The President had indicated his own anxiety in his request for a report on the situation, in which he asked for a detailed estimate of what would happen and what might be done in case the Germans gained control of the Nile delta within the next ten days.77 Marshall's reply restated the long held opinion of the War Department that the loss of the Nile delta would lead to the loss of the whole Middle East. On the basis of the President's assumption-which fell between the estimates of G -2 and of the operations staff- --Marshall reported that Rommel, after doing his best to destroy the retreating British forces, would move to take Cyprus, thence into Syria, and finally across into Mesopotamia and down to the head of the Persian Gulf. The British Eighth Army (after blocking the Suez Canal, a point about which the President was particularly interested) would probably have to retreat southward along the Nile into the Sudan. To stop the Germans in Syria and assure the resistance of Turkey would require much larger reinforcements than could be sent in such a short time. Marshall advised against trying to hold the Middle Fast once Egypt was lost, saying that "a major effort in this region would bleed us white." He believed there was nothing more to do at the moment but wait and see what General Auchinleck, who had taken command in Egypt. would do.78
The great concern of the President and his advisers was reflected both in detailed inquiries as to the British plans and in extensive correspondence with the American commanders in Cairo on their own plans for evacuating American units and destroying American equipment left behind.79 But there was apparently no move on the part either of the War Department or of

the President to suspend the shipments scheduled for the Middle East. In fact, early in July the President, at the instance of the Prime Minister, asked Stalin to release to the British forty A-20's at Basra, part of a month's consignment (of 100 A-20's) for the Soviet Union. The Soviet Government readily acceded.80 Marshall acted with equal promptness in response to a request for ammunition. Early in Jul Sir John Dill reported that the Middle Fast Command was low on 37-mm. ammunition and would be dangerously short for a period of several days after the middle of the month, until the expected arrival of a large shipment. He asked Marshall to have the Air Transport Command (ATC) change its schedule of shipments to the Middle East so as to get 7,000 rounds of 37-mm. ammunition to Egipt in time to meet the shortage.81 Colonel Deane, Secretary of the General Staff, directed this change on behalf of Marshall.82 The ammunition arrived in time to help meet the shortage.83
The President did take very seriously one expression of :American doubt, and distrust- -that of Col. Bonner F. Fellers, U. S. military attaché in Cairo. Fellers held a low opinion of British leadership and slight hopes of British prospects in the war in the desert, but his estimates, although they doubtless contributed to the cautious advice of the War Department G- 2 (to whom he reported), had led him to recommend exactly the opposite course. 84 During the spring Fellers repeatedly urged that the United States should intervene by recruiting, equipping, and taking command of an international corps in the Middle East.85 He had also recommended sending a large American

bomber force to the Middle East.86 At the end of May he had urged, in addition to equipping six divisions lit the Middle East, transferring the Tenth Air Force from India and sending from the United States two armored and two infantry divisions and an air force of three hundred heavy bomber. After the fall of Tobruk he repeated his plea.87 But by then he had come to dwell more oil the immediate need for planes, and, in particular, heavy bombers.88
The recommendations made by Fellers may have influenced (and may even have been influenced by) the discussions carried on and the actions taken in Washington during the June crisis, but neither the President nor the War Department adopted his extreme view of the need for uninvited, unlimited American Intervention. The possibility of sending several American divisions to the Middle East, raised by the President early in the month, came up at the White House meeting on 21 June. Setting down the War Department's reasons for opposing the move, Marshall declared that such a great change would result in "serious confusion of command" and would require the abandonment of BOLERO In favor of operations in the Mediterranean that, however ambitious, would still be "indecisive." in introducing these familiar arguments, he stated:
Tile matter of locating large Americal ground forces in the Middle East was discussed Sunday night. The desirability of the United States taking over control of operations in that area was mentioned. It is my opinion, and that of the Operations staff, that we should not undertake such a project.
Before submitting the paper (on 23 June) Marshall added a postscript that testified to the President's interest in Fellers' dispatches:
The attached was prepared for your- consideration before I had heard your comment this afternoon regarding Fellers' last message, 1156. I would make this comment. Fellers is a very valuable observer but his responsibilities are not those of a strategist and his views are in opposition to mine and those of the entire Operations Division.89
This answer did not dispose of Colonel Fellers' recommendations, which the President was to reconsider several weeks later.90 But for the time Marshall carried his point, with the support of Stimson.91 On 2 July the War Department formally restated and confirmed the policy of a limited commitment in the Middle East:
Since the Middle East is all area of British strategic responsibility the U. S. Army forces in that area are limited for the most part to those engaged in delivery of military supplies to friendly forces in the area, and to those cooperating with British Middle East forces by mutual agreement.92

The War Department followed this cautious policy in handling the problem of command of Army forces in Egypt, leaving General Maxwell ,in control and thus reassuring the British Chiefs that the War Department still regarded the role of the U. S. Army in the Middle East as that of a co-operative auxiliary. The occasion for asserting this policy carne soon after General Brereton arrived in Cairo. He objected in the strongest terms to having to deal with the British through Maxwell, a ground officer junior to him who had as yet commanded no troops. He inferred the War Department had not intended he should have to do so.93 A reply went out at once to both officers, over Marshall's signature, stating that the War Department had so intended and expected them to work in harmony.94 They at once answered with assurances that they were getting on well together.95
The closing of the incident did not settle the issue. Marshall Sounded out British opinion and found that the Middle East Command preferred to leave things as they were.96 General Arnold objected that it was unsuitable to keep a ground officer in command of a theater which, from the point of view of American combat operations, was an air theater.97 But the British preference confirmed General Marshall's disposition to leave things as they were.98 Maxwell retrained the American commander in the Middle East.99
The War Department aim was simply to co-operate with the British Chiefs of Staff, as a condition of their co-operation in going ahead with the BOLERO plan. A few days after the close of the June meetings in Washington, General Marshall listed the various extraordinary measures taken to get air reinforcements, guns, and tanks to Egypt. He characterized these treasures as "concessions' made for the sake of agreement on the BOLERO plan, explaining
The visit of Prime Minister Churchill has involved us in a struggle to keep diversions of our forces to other theaters from interfering with the Bolero plan. The Prime Minister felt that it was doubtful if we could do anything on the European coast in 1942. During these conferences Tobruk fell which made matters worse. The Prime Minister favored an attack on Africa to case the pressure on the British in this theater. The result of the conferences, however, was that we managed to preserve the basic plan for Bolero.100

Consequences of the Battle of Midway
The revival of the GYMNAST coincided with the development of new American plans in the Pacific, which, like the modification of American policy in the Middle East, resulted from a sudden, if not entirely unanticipated, change in the military situation. The crisis of the latter part of May in the Pacific ended early in June with the news of a clear American victory. As naval intelligence had predicted, the main Japanese force struck in the Central Pacific. On the afternoon of 3 June Army bombers made contact with the Japanese force west of Midway. In the three days that followed the Navy won a victory notable in several respects. It was the first clear American victory of the war; it was decided entirely in the air; it confirmed the Navy's belief in the tactics of naval air attack on surface vessels and in the greatness of the advantage possessed by a fleet supported by long-range land-based reconnaissance; and finally, it reduced the Japanese superiority in aircraft carriers.101 A turning point had been reached in the Pacific war.
Central Pacific
The victory at 'Midway had still another meaning, of special importance to the Army. The Japanese, after six months' uninterrupted success, had for the first time failed in an attempt to seize a strategic position. The Japanese, had they won, could and presumably would have .seized Midway and perhaps one or more of the other outlying islands in the Hawaiian group. To meet and dispose of the constant threat that they could have exercised from this advance position, the Army would have been compelled to send large reinforcements to Hawaii. The American victory at Midway left the War Department staff more than ever determined to maintain its position on deployment to the Central Pacific.
General Eisenhower stated the case informally a few days later:
General Handy has been asked to have entire Hawaiian strength restudied. However-things in Pacific are better than when we made our first allocation. So why disperse further?? We may have made mistakes in our calculations, particularly as to ground forces; but I am more than ever convinced that our authorized allocations in air are sufficient-if kept up to strength!102
Other members of the staff came to the same conclusion as Eisenhower, even after studying the, less complacent conclusions of two observers recently returned from the Pacific Maj. Gen. Robert C. Richardson, Jr. (VII Corps commander), who had gone as the personal representative of General Marshall, and Col. John L. McKee, a member of the operations staff. Both these observers agreed with General Emmons (and Admiral Nimitz) that the War Department had authorized for Hawaii neither enough ground forces nor enough air forces.103 The

staff finally recommended sending two regiments of the 40th Division, to complete two triangular divisions to garrison the outlying islands of the Hawaiian group, there defended by the 27th (square) Division. The staff also recommended sending a few other badly needed troops --air base security troops (nine battalions), ordnance troops (part of a battalion), and quartermaster troops (three service battalions).--over and above previously allotted strength.104 In mid-July Marshall approved the recommendations.105 The staff did not recommended, and Marshall did not then propose. air increase in the number of planes allocated to tire Central Pacific.
North Pacific
The outcome of operations in the North Pacific was less favorable. Japanese forces landed unopposed in the western Aleutians, on Kiska and Attu, opening a new front that American forces were not prepared to defend. Army air forces in Alaska reacted weakly to this operation and to a raid on Dutch Harbor which had preceded it, demonstrating - -if there were any need to demonstrate-the ineffectiveness of the hurriedly reinforced Eleventh Air Force and of the extempore arrangement for joint Army-Navy action.106 But the Japanese had done only what the War Department had long conceded they might do, and the staff' was still intent on postponing increases in the strength of Alaskan defenses.107 The War Department did agree to several readjustments that could be reconciled with scheduled deployment to other commands. The War Department directed the reassignment of troops--infantry, antiaircraft, and

field artillery-from the Western Defense Command (WDC) to Alaska, and from less exposed positions in Alaska (Sitka and Anchorage) to more exposed positions (in particular to Nome).108 The War Department also agreed to send to Alaska for the time being (in exchange for a squadron of P-38's) a group of P-39's (54th Fighter Group) that had been diverted from BOLERO to the Western Defense Command in the emergency, and to send for the protection of Nome a squadron of B-24's equipped with air-to-surface-vessel radar.109 Beyond these strictly defensive measures the War Department did not go, although DeWitt promptly submitted a plan for counteraction in the Aleutians, and the staff' began, of necessity, to study the possibilities.110
South and Southwest Pacific
The specific consequences in the Central and North Pacific of the Japanese attacks of early June, important as they were, were incidental to the effect in the South and Southwest Pacific. It was highly probable that the Japanese would launch their next attack, as Admiral King had at first expected them to launch their last one, against the American lines of communication to Australia. But their attack and defeat off Midway had cut the decisive advantage they had had in aircraft carriers and, what was more, had lost them the advantage of having forces deployed and organized to undertake the operation. Strategically, the Japanese high command still had the initiative. Japanese forces were still numerically superior and so could still concentrate for an attack without fear of a concentration of American forces in another sector. But the American high command had the option of seizing the initiative, if only in a very limited sense. American forces could concentrate in the sector in which the Japanese were expected to attack-- -Fijis-Australia- at a calculated risk of exposing other positions to Japanese attack. American forces, in short, could seize the tactical initiative. By acting quickly they could, perhaps, upset Japanese plans and thus gain an initial advantage in the coming struggle to hold open the lines of communication to Australia.
Admiral Nimitz opened the discussion of operations in the South Pacific at the end of May with a very modest proposal to

General MacArthur. He told MacArthur that he had a Marine raider battalion to lend him (if Admiral King were willing) for landing operations against 'I'ulagi (Solomons)  or some other Japanese advance base, supported by MacArthur's own naval forces. MacArthur liked the idea of attacking, but he did not believe the battalion together with what he had available would make tip a force strong enough for such art operation.111 The Army and -Navy staffs in Washington took the same view. . It was left up to and MacArthur to go ahead with plans for a raid on one of the Japanese positions, if they should agree it would be worth trying, but not to undertake to land and hold a position without previous approval from Washington.112
The first proposal to come after the Battle of Midday was MacArthur's. he had plans of his own for much more ambitious operations in the Britain New Ireland area, preparatory to launching an attack on Rabaul. He urged them at once on the War Department. To carry them out he asked for an amphibious division and a naval task force including two carriers. With that force he would undertake to recapture "that important area, forcing the enemy back 700 miles to his base at Truk." thus obtaining "manifold strategic advantages both defensive and offensive," which could be further exploited at once.113
The War Department staff, which had been awaiting this proposal, had already gone to work to calculate what forces MacArthur would need to open such an offensive and how shipping schedules could be arranged to get them to him.114 On receiving MacArthur's proposals, the staff at once opened discussions with the Navy.115 Remarkably enough, in view of the long effort of the: War Department to restrict Army deployment and operations in the Pacific, the operations staff expressed entire agreement with the bold idea of advancing by way of eastern New Guinea and New Britain to Rabaul. the forward operating base of the .Japanese forces in the South Pacific. To attack Rabaul would be to attack the vital point on the lines of communication between Truk, the strategic assembly point some 700 miles to the north of Rabaul, and the Japanese forward positions in the Solomons. If the attack succeeded, the Japanese position in the Solomons "would almost fall of its own weight."116
Within it few days Marshall presented the War Department plan to Admiral King. It required a Marine division for the assault and three Army divisions from -Australia to follow up. The Army air component would include, besides planes then available to MacArthur, the B-17's held in Hawaii and the additional sixteen sent there from the west coast in late May. To provide fighter cover for the landings, which

would be out of range of American land based pursuit planes, the Navy would have to furnish three carriers (and escort for them), in addition to the naval forces of MacArthur and whatever naval assistance the British might provide. Marshall, after summarizing the plan, dwelt on the point that the operation, in order to succeed, must be mounted as soon as possible-some time early in July-and that they must reach a decision at once. He asked Admiral King to meet him to talk over the proposed operations.117
General Marshall intimated to MacArthur that he expected complications, and MacArthur assured him that he well understood "the extreme delicacy of your position and the complex difficulties that face you there."118  In making his proposal, Marshall had put himself in a position vis-à-vis Admiral King rather like his position vis-à-vis the British two months before. The operation he proposed would depend very heavily on Navy forces, especially at the outset, and might prove very costly to them. much as SLEDGEHAMMER would depend on-and might prove very costly to British forces.
On the "working level" the Army and Navy staffs quickly came to substantial agreement, but to no purpose, since Rear Adm. Charles M. Cooke, Jr. (Assistant Chief of Staff' to Commander in Chief U. S. Fleet), speaking for Admiral King, objected, first, to risking carriers in the narrow sea between New Guinea and the Solomons, where they would be exposed to attacks from Japanese land-based aircraft without protection from American land-based aircraft, and second, to putting the operation under MacArthur.119 About two weeks passed while the staffs did what they could. As the Army operations representative complained to his chief: "Both their and our detailed plans become more and more difficult of rapid accomplishment the longer the bickering in high places continues."120
Finally, Admiral King, speaking for himself, wrote to Marshall explaining his own plan (along the lines of RAINBOW 2) . It was in essence a plan he had long since had in mind, and it had no doubt been in his mind-and in Marshall's-during the debates over deployment and command in the Pacific.121 As he had explained to the President early in March, he looked forward to striking in the South Pacific as soon as American garrisons had made reasonably secure the "strong points" along the lines of communication. These strong points being secured, the Navy would not only cover the vulnerable American lines of communication to Australia but also-"given the naval forces, air units, and amphibious troops"

could take the initiative, attacking the weakest Japanese position:
. . . we can drive northwest from the New Hebrides into the Solomons and the Bismarck [sic] Archipelago after the same fashion of step-by-step advances that the Japanese used in the South China Sea. Such a line of operations will be offensive rather than passive and will draw Japanese forces there to oppose it, thus relieving pressure elsewhere . . . .122
Admiral King, in proposing this course of action to General Marshall in June, set the final aim of seizing Rabaul and occupying eastern New Guinea. Since General MacArthur had meanwhile made explicit provision for preliminary landings in the Solomons as well as in New Guinea to seize airfields and thus provide protection for naval surface forces, the operations proposed by King and MacArthur were very, similar in scope.123 But King's idea of the operation was nonetheless quite different from MacArthur's, as Admiral Cooke's objections had already indicated. Admiral King held that these operations should be under naval command throughout, not (as the working planners had agreed) in the assault stage only. Admiral Nimitz would retain control until it came time to occupy the islands on a permanent basis, at which time MacArthur would acquire jurisdiction.124
General Marshall protested, of course, that MacArthur should command the entire operation, chiefly on the grounds that the operation lay "almost entirely in the Southwest Pacific area" and that it was "designed to add to the security of that area."125
But Admiral King had the much stronger argument that Admiral Nimitz should control the commitment or withdrawal of naval forces in the light of the whole naval situation in the Pacific. King proposed that the Navy should logically retain control of primarily naval and amphibious operations such as these, by the same reasoning that had led him to agree to Army exercise of unity of command over operations against Germany, which would be mainly on and over land. He stated, provocatively, that he thought the operation important enough to be launched "even if no support of Army forces in the Southwest Pacific area is made available."126
General Marshall promptly objected to the inference that Army support would be contingent on command: "Regardless of the final decision as to command, every available support must be given to this operation, or any operation against the enemy." He again requested Admiral King to talk over the problem with him at once.127 Marshall had very good reason to disavow any intention of allowing strategic commitments to be determined by bargaining over command. King, in stating his ideas about command for this operation, had advanced a theory more or less applicable to operations in the Pacific for a long time to come-that Marshall should be willing to accept Navy command of primarily naval and amphibious warfare. This solution at least implied a sharp division of labor be-

tween the Army and Navy in the determination of plans and control of operations, with the JCS supporting Army views and control of operations against Germany and Navy views and control over operations against Japan.
MacArthur quickly seized on the point, and made known his displeasure. After learning that King had directed Nimitz to go ahead on the basis of the Navy proposal, MacArthur declared:
It is quite evident in reviewing the whole situation that Navy contemplates assuming, general command control of all operations in the Pacific theater, the role of the Army being subsidiary and consisting largely of placing its forces at the disposal and under the command of Navy or Marine officers . . . . I shall take no steps or action with reference to any components of my Command except under your direct orders.128
MacArthur, in his next message hastened to remove any possible misapprehension that he meant to offer "anything short of the fullest cooperation" once it should have been decided to go through with an operation.129 But King apparently saw that a solution, to be acceptable, should not appear to slight MacArthur. He offered a way out. He proposed to Marshall that Vice Adm. Robert L. Ghormley, the newly appointed Navy commander in the South Pacific, should control operations against Tulagi, and that Mac Arthur should thereafter assume control of operations toward Rabaul.130 As MacArthur at once pointed out, it would be hard thus to transfer command between phases of the operation. Marshall recognized the force of the objection, but concluded that the proposed arrangement offered the only basis on which the Army and Navy could "successfully and immediately go ahead with this operation."131 He therefore accepted the proposal and drafted a joint directive, providing for an operation in three phases: (1) to take the Santa Cruz Islands, Tulagi, and adjacent positions; (2) to take Lae, Salamaua, and the northeast coast of New Guinea; and (3 ) to capture Rabaul and adjacent positions in the New Britain-New Ireland area. The first phase (Task One) was to be under the control of Admiral Nimitz. MacArthur would be in charge of the second and third phases (Tasks Two and Three).132
Admiral King did not especially like the solution. He had since made and still preferred an alternative proposal to let Admiral Ghormley execute the operation directly under the JCS.133 General Marshall had been and remained opposed to this proposal, which was likely to involve the JCS too deeply in the conduct of overseas operations to promise well either for the operations themselves or for the performance by the JCS of their own proper functions.134 So Admiral King, "in order to make progress in the direction in which we are agreed that we should go," consented to plan for an operation in three phases, with command passing between the first and second phases. He proposed a target date of 1 August for

initiating the first phase, and that arrangements for the second and third phases be made not later than 20 July.135 General Marshall sent to General MacArthur a hopeful vet anxious comment on the result
I feel that a workable plan has been set up and a unity of command established without previous precedent for an offensive operation. I wish you to make every conceivable effort to promote a complete accord throughout this affair. There will be difficulties and irritations inevitably but the end in view demands a determination to suppress these manifestations.136
In anticipation of these arrangements, the War Department had meanwhile been reexamining the problem of jurisdiction over Army forces in the South Pacific. This problem had been a point of contention in Washington ever since January, when the first Army garrisons were sent. On 19 January the War Department staff had drafted a letter to be sent to General Emmons, the Army commander in Hawaii, making him responsible, under the Commander in Chief, Pacific Fleet, Admiral , for the defense of New Caledonia and Borabora, as well as Christmas and Canton islands.137 But the staff had dropped the proposal since Admiral King objected to it.138 As a result, General Emmons' mission was not extended to include any broadly defined responsibility for Army forces along the line Hawaii-Australia.139 The want of joint arrangements for unity of command beyond the defense of the Hawaiian Islands group was a serious defect, as both the War and Navy Departments acknowledged.140 In mid-February the Navy had raised several questions relating to this problem, among them the question of General Emmons' point of view "due to his limited mission," and of Admiral Nimitz' authority to move Army forces beyond the Hawaiian Coastal Frontier.141 These questions had come up in connection with the diversion of the squadron of B-17's from Hawaii to the South Pacific to operate in connection with the ANZAC Task Force.142 They had remained pertinent and important questions throughout the spring, as a result of the War Department's refusal to provide a separate bomber force for the South Pacific. The most obvious solution

was to establish Army command channels in the Pacific parallel to the Navy command channels, so that General Emmons' views on the strategic disposition of the bombers stationed in Hawaii would be based on the same broad calculation of risks as those that Admiral Nimitz had to make in considering the disposition of the Pacific Fleet. Early in April, after the establishment of the Pacific Ocean Area, the Navy Department had directed Admiral Nimitz to name a flag officer to take command in the South Pacific.143 To correspond with this command, which was given to Admiral Ghormley, General Emmons in May had proposed that an Army officer be appointed as his deputy to command Army forces in the South Pacific.144 The War Department staff, which had first thought of setting up a separate Army command in the area under General Patch, had dropped that idea in favor of having a single Army command in the Pacific, with a deputy in the South Pacific--an arrangement substantially in accord with Emmons proposal.145 But finally, in June, shortly before Admiral Ghormley assumed command in the South Pacific, the War Department staff arrived at a solution less symmetrical, but more in keeping with the actual situation in the Pacific.
Shortly after the Battle of Midway, General Eisenhower and Maj. Gen. Millard F. Harmon, Chief of Air Staff, discussed the problem and the related problem of bomber operations in the Pacific. As a result of these discussions the War Department proposed that an Army commander be appointed for all Army forces placed under Admiral Ghormley, and that a Pacific mobile air force be set aside in Hawaii, to be used anywhere in the Pacific, at General Marshall's discretion.146
With this proposal the War Department in effect conceded that naval strategy should control operations in the South Pacific. Even this concession was not enough. Admiral King took exception on two counts. He did not want the proposed Army commander's jurisdiction under Admiral Ghormley to extend to the operations of Army forces, as the War Department had proposed; and he wanted two mobile air forces set up-in Australia and Hawaii rather than the one-in Hawaii-proposed by the War Department. Marshall accepted the changes.147 General Harmon, who was given the new command as Commanding General, U. S. Army Forces in the South Pacific Area (CG USAFISPA, or in Navy form, COMGENSOPAC), received his formal letter of instructions on 7 July.148 Like .the other officers-Emmons, Stilwell, and Eisenhower-that General

Marshall had sent out from Washington since Pearl Harbor to take command of Army Forces in strategically critical theaters, Harmon had a good idea how the War Department intended to treat problems in his theater-knowledge that he was expected to keep in mind.
Up to this point no one appears to have raised the question of sending additional Army forces into the South Pacific, last raised by King at the end of May.149 The agreement just reached had given to Admiral King an implied claim on the War Department for help in the South Pacific, and to General MacArthur an implied assurance of War Department support, albeit deferred, in the Southwest Pacific. But King and MacArthur had still to state their expectations, and General Marshall to state his intentions, with regard to the question of Army forces for the planned three-part offensive.
The issuance of the new directive at once opened the question. MacArthur and Ghormley, after conferring on 8 July, recommended that Task One (Santa Cruz and Tulagi ) be postponed until means were available in the Pacific to follow up immediately with Tasks Two and Three (eastern New Guinea and Rabaul).150 King, in commenting on their recommendation, insisted on going ahead in any case with Task One and pointed out that MacArthur had suddenly grown more conservative
I take note that about three weeks ago MacArthur stated that, if he could be furnished amphibious forces and two carriers, he could push right through to RABAUL. Confronted with the concrete aspects of the task, he now feels that he not only cannot undertake this extended operation but not even the TULAGI operation.151
The point of King's observation was not lost on the War Department, which would thus face once again, in a new context, with the familiar demand for additional commitments to the Pacific, even though Army forces present in the Pacific or en route (estimated by the planners to be 252,000) already exceeded the total strength that the War Department had undertaken to have in the Pacific by the end of the year (237,000).152
How far the War Department would go to meet these demands would depend partly on the fortunes of war in the South Pacific, in the Libyan Desert, on the Eastern Front in Europe, and on the high seas, where Allied shipping losses continued to be. heavy. It would also depend partly on the President's estimate of the situation and, finally, on his decision whether to go ahead gathering Army forces in the British Isles. For the time being, until he had made his decision. there was small chance that the War Department would make many concessions to Admiral King and the Pacific commands.

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