Chapter XIII: 
August 1942
The disagreement during August over the time and place of the landings in North Africa was at the center of a vast confusion and uncertainty. The President, by serenely ignoring the terms of the agreement (CCS 94) reached in July, ended in the quickest possible way the attempt of General Marshall, with the acquiescence of his American colleagues and the British Chiefs, to delay the "decision" on TORCH. But General Marshall and his staff did not intend that CCS 94 should lapse, and the President's action did not stop thorn from applying their interpretation of CCS 94 to questions at issue with the British and the Navy.
The "Final" Decision on Torch
As late as 22 August it was evident, in the recommendations that General Handy sent back from London, that the War Department staff had not entirely given up the idea that the forth African operation might not be launched after all. This disposition had the sanction of General Marshall's own example. On 19 August, in connection with the question when to separate responsibility for TORCH from responsibility for SLEDGEHAMMER and ROUNDUP, he declared to the staff that as he understood CCS 94, the responsibilities would not be separated "until the positive ardor for the Torch operation was given," that is, until the moment came "when the troops were actually committed to movements to base ports, etc." That moment, he went on, had not yet arrived. General Eisenhower and the British Chiefs apparently believed that "a final decision" on TORCH had been made. General Marshall disagreed:
The decision to mount the observation has been made, but it still subject to the vicissitudes of war. Whether or not we should discuss this phase of the matter with General Eisenhower I do not know.1
General Marshall's position was an expression of his determination to treat the decision to invade North Africa as a momentous change in grand strategy. He and his advisers feared that to launch TORCH would lead to adopting the British aim of acquiring and exploiting control of the Mediterranean basin. Some bitterness entered into their dissatisfaction, for it appeared that in urging the concentration of American forces in the British Isles they had

merely facilitated the execution of the strategy they had hoped to supersede.2
Sir John Dill, whose chief duty was to understand General Marshall and keep on good terms with him, was sufficiently perturbed to write a note of gentle protest to him about the attitude displayed by members of his planning staff. Dill began
I am just a little disturbed about TORCH.. For good or for ill it has been accepted and therefore I feel that we should go at it with all possible enthusiasm and give it absolute priority. If we don't, it won't succeed.
From what our Planners tell me, there are some of your people who feel that TORCH is not a good operation. That, of course, must be a matter of opinion but those who are playing a part in mounting the operation must be entirely whole-hearted about it, or they cannot give it all the help it should have and overcome all the difficulties that will arise.
Sir John closed by declaring: "All I aim at is to ensure that we all think alike-and enthusiastically. 3
General Marshall replied that he agreed that the officer- charged with executing the TORCH operation must lend their "complete support" and their "most energetic cooperation." But he went on to say that there must be "absolute candor" among the planners, whose business it was to plan and prepare for several operations at the same time and to try to foresee and provide against all contingencies. Marshall was not impressed with Dill's final plea that they should "all think alike--and enthusiastically." The answer ended with the statement: "You may feel sure that U. S. Planners will enthusiastically and effectively support decisions made by the Commander-in chief."4
CCS 94 and the Arcadia Statement of Grand Strategy
How closely the attitude of the War Department was connected with War Department views on grand strategy was shown in the main part of Sir John Dill's letter to Marshall. He drew attention to the fact that the American planners in Washington in their discussion of grand strategy were appealing to CCS 94, while the British planners appealed to the statement that the British Chiefs of Staff had proposed, and the American Chiefs had accepted, in December 1941 at the beginning of the ARCADIA Conference. This statement (in ABC-4/CS-1) prescribed for 1942, and perhaps 1943, a strategy of "tightening and closing the ring round Germany," by blockade, bombardment, and peripheral operations, specifically in the Mediterranean. Sir John's remarks were as follows:
Another point which I think will require clearing up, and that is to what extent, if at all, does C. C. S. 94 alter ABC-4/CS.1. I have just re-read ABC-4/CS.1. It certainly covers TORCH and I should have said that it still holds the field as a guide to our major strategical policy. At any rate everyone

should be quite clear on this matter. At present our Chiefs of Staff quote ABC-4 /CS.1 as the Bible whereas some of your people, I think, look upon C. C. S. 94 your the revised version! 5
It was expecting a great deal to ask General Marshall to disavow CCS 94. He had silently concurred in the version of strategy presented by the British Chiefs during the ARCADIA Conference, and he could not but concede that it covered the TORCH operation. But he had long since made quite plain his belief that the course of action propounded in the ARCADIA paper, beginning with "closing and tightening the ring" around Germany, would not bring about the defeat of Germany, and would not, therefore, justify leasing the Japanese to hold the strategic initiative in the Pacific. CCS 94 came close to meeting his views, in providing that a decision to undertake the TORCH operation would amount to accepting a "defensive" strategy of encirclement (so far as ground operations were concerned) and would justify a diversion of large air forces to the Pacific. The mere fact that the British Chiefs had agreed to CCS 94, if only for the sake of avoiding dispute, gave him an advantage in negotiations, and he was not likely to relinquish it and to restore to the British the advantage they had gained by his acquiescence in the ARCADIA paper.
In answering Sir John, General Marshall acknowledged that the ARCADIA paper included "many of the premises involved in the TORCH operation in its general concept." He took his stand on the "inconsistencies" between ABC-4/CS-1 and CCS 94. His first reference was to strategic bombing:
To illustrate, ABC-4/CS-1, which provides for "the wearing down of Germany's resistance by ever-increasing air bombardment by British and American forces", is of necessity modified by the provisions in CCS 94, one of which by the withdrawal of 17 groups of aircraft projected for the United Kingdom for the furtherance of offensive operations in the Pacific: the other makes available for transfer from the United Kingdom to the African Theater such heavy and medium bomber units as may be required.
To this contention the British could properly have replied that the principle of bombarding the Continent at the expense of other strategic aims was not a principle they had advanced at ARCADIA but a principle the War Department itself had advanced subsequently, and that CCS 94 modified the subsequent proposal (BOLERO ) and not the ARCADIA agreement.
General Marshall also read into the ARCADIA agreement the peculiarly American idea that operations in the Mediterranean were not operations against Germany, and that offensive operations in the Mediterranean were not, for purposes of grand strategy, offensive at all:
Paragraph 3 of ABC-4/CS-1, under the subject "Grand Strategy'', states that it should be a cardinal principle of our strategy that only the minimum of forces necessary for the safeguarding of vital interests in other theaters should ho diverted from operations against Germany. Paragraph c (4) of CCS 94 indicates we have accepted the fact that a commitment to the TORCH operation renders ROUNDUP (operations directly against Germany` in all probability impracticable of successful execution in 1943 and that we have definitely accepted a defensive, encircling line of action for Continental Europe except as to air operations and blockade. The requirements for the effective implementation of TORCH as now envisaged, and agreed upon would, in my opinion, definitely preclude the offensive operations against Germany that were contemplated in ABC-4/CS-1.

After pointing to these two "inconsistencies," General Marshall shifted his ground to make the more telling point that it was after all in the common interest to take into account events that had happened and undertakings that had been made since the ARCADIA Conference:
ABC-4/CS-1 contemplates also such action in the Pacific as will deny to Japan access to raw materials. If we were to implement that provision rigidly, you can readily appreciate the full implications with reference to other projected operations. Therefore, while constituting a guide for our overall strategy, ABC-4/CS-1, it seems to me, must be considered in the light of subsequent agreements, particularly if those agreements serve to modify our concept of strategy as required by developments in the situation.6
Marshall thus confirmed Sir John's observation that the British planners and the War Department planners approached the problem of future plans with quite different views. Their disagreement was merely a sign of the real difficulty TORCH, even the cautious American version, fitted easily into British strategy; American strategy had to be fitted to TORCH, and the American planners were loath to make the adjustment.7
The Middle East
One indication of the reluctance of the Army planners to reconcile themselves to the President's decision was their view of the still undecided battle for control of Egypt and Libya. On 30 July, at the very moment of deciding to go ahead with TORCH, the President granted an interview to Colonel Fellers. Fellers' outspoken criticism of the British command in Egypt and his recommendation for full American intervention had led to his being recalled from Cairo to Washington.8 In presenting his case to the President, Fellers again recommended an intense effort to reinforce the British, urging that during the next few weeks American bombers be sent to Egypt at the rate of ten a day. His views had not changed since his  return. The substance of them, according to the President's brief summary, was as follows:
Colonel Fellers was very pessimistic as to the ability of the British to hold the Nile Delta and the Suez Canal. He had estimated that General Rommel would penetrate the British positions by the last of August.9
Whatever may have been the President's reasons for seeing Colonel Fellers in person, there was no question but that the President was unready to accept the restrictive effects of TORCH on other projects, the effects in the near future as well as the long-range effects to which General Marshall had unsuccessfully tried to draw his atten-

tion. Characteristically, the President combined the announcement of his decision on TORCH with the question whether the United States might not be able to send more planes to the Middle East (and perhaps a convoy to the Soviet arctic ports as well).10 In reply Marshall submitted a report telling what was being done, with only the remark that additional reinforcements for the Middle East would be at the expense of TORCH or BOLERO.11
Marshall's policy had been to co-operate with the British Chiefs of Staff in the Middle East in the hope of "preserving the BOLERO plan."12 His staff, vexed by the disappointment of this hope, went so far as to urge on General Marshall the view that
The Middle Fast should be held if possible, but its loss might prow to be a blessing in disguise. The British, once free of the tremendous drain upon their resources represented by Middle Easy requirements, might then be in a position to launch an effective offensive based on the British Isles, and directed against the enemy's citadel on the Continent.13 This last protest was a measure of how far the War Department planners were from meeting the British planners on the basis of thinking "alike" and "enthusiastically" about the problems of combined strategy in the Mediterranean. Even after reconciling themselves to the decision to mount TORCH, they were sure to disagree with the British over the exploitation of TORCH and the complementary offensive (LIGHTFOOT) that the British were planning to launch westward from El Alamein.14
The Pacific
The reluctance of the War Department planners to adjust their aims to the prospect of a North African operation appeared likewise in their unwillingness to increase Army commitments in the Pacific. The only notable concessions that the Army had made since the Battle of Midway on the allocation of forces to the Pacific were the provision of two infantry regiments (from the 40th Division) and a few supporting units to Hawaii, and the assignment of a few more bombers to General MacArthur.15 The most urgent question was what additional means, if any, the Army should provide to carve out operations in the South

and Southwest Pacific. The consideration of this question, raised on 8 July by General MacArthur and Admiral Ghormley, had been suspended during the brief interlude of rapprochement between King and Marshall over the "Pacific alternative" (10-14 July). It was opened on 14 July by Admiral King, who then passed on to General Marshall with his concurrence the recommendation of Admiral Nimitz that the Army should send three additional antiaircraft regiments to the South Pacific's.16 On 15 July Admiral King urged General Marshall to act on the proposal.17 Marshall, on the recommendation of his staff, gave way to the extent of agreeing to send one regiment-the 76th Coast Artillery ( AA)--from the west coast as a partial replacement for the regiments due to be moved into the Solomons from Borabora and Tongatabu.18 Admiral King was willing to accept this solution, on the assumption that in the near future the Army would send additional units to complete the replacement of units moved forward from these bases. 19 Admiral Ghormley protested that the antiaircraft defense of Borabora and Tongatabu were already at an "irreducible minimum," and notified Washington that he planned to use Marine antiaircraft until more Army units arrived. Thereupon, the Navy Department again requested that three regiments should be sent at once, and the War Department again refused to do so.20
The Navy pressed its objections not only to the provision for antiaircraft defense but also to the Army's approach in general. Admiral Nimitz urged the provision of an adequate, continuous flow of land and air replacements and reinforcements to consolidate the forward positions to be seized. The Navy Department agreed that the Army should provide them, calling attention to Japanese capabilities and recent reports of increased Japanese activity in the southwestern Pacific.21 The War Department reiterated that forces to garrison forward positions should be brought up from the rear. They would come from New Caledonia, and would be replaced in New Caledonia from Tongatabu and Borabora. The forces taken from Borabora and Tongatabu world not be replaced; nor would replacements be sent to Hawaii and Australia for the mobile bomber forces assigned to the operation.22
The negotiations in London at the end of July placed the argument over Pacific deployment on a new basis. Under the terms of CCS 94, one of the conditions of abandoning ROUNDUP, launching TORCH, and adopting a "defensive encircling" strategy

against the Continent was the withdrawal of forces from BOLERO for use in the Pacific. In that contingency, the CCS agreed that
. . .over and above the U. S. forces required from BOLERO for operations in North and North West Africa, the following readjustments of present U. S. commitments to BOLERO will be made for the purpose of furthering offensive operations in the Pacific:
(1) Withdrawal of the following air forces:
3 groups heavy bombers
2 groups medium bombers 2 groups light bombers
2 groups fighter planes
2 groups observation planes 4 groups transport planes
(2) Probably shipping to move one infantry or Marine division from U. S. West Coast to South West Pacific.23
Admiral King took this provision to mean that he could expect the Army to commit at least the additional bombers to the line Hawaii-Australia for which he and the Pacific commanders had so long been asking. On 1 August he sent to General Marshall a request he had just received from Admiral Nimitz for two more heavy bombardment groups for Hawaii, to be used to meet a Japanese attempt to take advantage of the diversion of American forces to the Solomons operation. Admiral Nimitz held that existing air strength in Hawaii was not enough to furnish a reserve or even to "constitute a reasonable defense" when most of the Pacific Fleet was operating to the southwest. Admiral King at the same time repeated to General Marshall his own opinion that the land and air forces available in the South Pacific were inadequate. He requested that Marshall should review, " in the light of the recent decisions reached in London to re-enforce with air the Pacific Ocean Areas," the Army's decision of 27 July not to reinforce the South Pacific. 24
The operations staff was not ready to make concessions, as it indicated in a message to General Emmons, who ( as on previous occasions) had sent word of his hearty agreement with Admiral Nimitz' recommendations.25 The staff ( with General McNarney's concurrence) advised Marshall to answer Admiral King to the same effect. The staff advised standing pat on the decision to commit no additional ground forces and making no specific commitment of additional air forces, since there were none available for immediate deployment and since the result of the London conferences was as yet uncertain.26 General Marshall withheld action, and explained himself to General Handy with the question: "In view of the present So. Pacific situation is this the time (or the manner) for replying to the Navy's paper"' 27
The uncertainty of the situation in the South Pacific at that moment-the marines were landing on Guadalcanal-was all the more reason why Admiral King should press his case.28

On 8 August (the first landings in the Solomons were on the 7th) Admiral King again wrote, in connection with recommendations he had just received from Admiral Ghormley and General Harmon, that although shortages of shipping would prevent the immediate dispatch of the additional forces requested, plans should be made "for first, the Air reinforcements and second, Ground reinforcements.29
The War Department staff remained unmoved. In a message for Harmon, the War Department repeated what it had told him before his departure for Noumea and again more recently-that no additional air units were available and garrisons for newly acquired forward bases would have to be drawn from forces available in the rear areas in the South Pacific.30 Once again the staff advised General Marshall to stick to the position that there were already enough ground forces in the Pacific to launch the operations then planned (including Tasks Two and Three) and to garrison the Solomons, and to notify Admiral King that the availability for the Pacific of the fifteen air groups listed in CCS 94 depended on what happened across the Atlantic. 31  Again, Marshall withheld action.32
The War Department made one concession. On the recommendation of Admiral Nimitz, the War Department told General Harmon that if he thought best he could for the time being hold in the South Pacific bombers en route to Australia and warned General MacArthur that it might become necessary for him to shift pursuit planes ( initially a squadron) to Guadalcanal.33
The unwillingness of the staff to commit additional forces to the Pacific was in keeping with its interpretation of CCS 94. The withdrawal of forces from BOLERO for the Pacific was contingent on the decision to abandon ROUNDUP and launch TORCH, and General Marshall held that the "final" decision to do so was vet to be made. What he had apparently not told the staff-or Admiral King-was that he intended to use the provision to regain some of the freedom of action as between the Navy and the British that he had given up in April. He had already explained this in a letter he had sent to General Eisenhower soon after returning from London:
I regarded the list of withdrawals for the Pacific as one which gave us liberty of action though not necessarily to be carried out in full, and no dates were mentioned . . . . I am quite certain that an additional heavy

bomber group must go into the Pacific in August. Additional withdrawals will depend on the development of the situation there.34
On 13 August Admiral King called General Marshall's attention to the two appeals, as yet unanswered, for reinforcements and again stressed the need for additional air units in Hawaii and the South Pacific.35 The situation in the South Pacific had meanwhile become extremely precarious, as a result of naval losses ( four cruisers) incurred in a surprise engagement on 8 and 9 August off Savo Island and the withdrawal of American naval support from the Solomons area. Marshall finally authorized the commitment of one heavy bomber group to Hawaii, which was to be used to replace the mobile air force in Hawaii and not to be used in the South Pacific. General Arnold designated for this purpose the 90th Bombardment Group (H).36
In submitting an answer for Admiral King, to inform him of the commitment of the 90th Group to Hawaii and the authorization given to divert planes to the South Pacific from the Southwest Pacific, the staff once again proposed that '.Marshall should hold fast to the policy of sending no additional ground forces. Once again Marshall withheld action.37
Meanwhile, during the two weeks of Marshall's silence on the policy to be adopted with reference to deployment in the Pacific, the War Department had opened negotiations on the second phase (Task Two) of the projected offensive in the South and Southwest Pacific, the phase of operations against the east coast of New Guinea, under the command of General MacArthur. Following the Japanese landings in late July in the Buna-Gona region, Admiral King had asked the War Department to find out what MacArthur planned to do in response.38 MacArthur replied to the War Department in a long message describing the disposition of Japanese forces, assessing Japanese capabilities, and giving a detailed plan for countermoves and an ultimate offensive against Rabaul. He recommended the opening of this phase of operations as soon as the first phase in the Solomons was complete. The principal defensive measures he was taking were the development of air bases in northeastern Australia and the strengthening of the Port Moresby garrison with two Australian brigades, antiaircraft units, and fighter squadrons. In preparation for Tasks Two

and Three he was building air bases on New Guinea. One at Milne Bay was already occupied by fighter planes and defended by a garrison by fighter about 5,000 men. He was concentrating two American divisions (the 41st and 32d) at Rockhampton and Brisbane to be trained and prepared for action. As a step toward initiating offensive operations, he was sending the 7th Australian Division to New Guinea; a few troops were to be sent as reinforcements to secure the crest of the Owen Stanley Range. The factor's limiting operations in New Guinea would be shipping and naval support to keep open the lines of communication.39
On 14 August General Marshall reminded Admiral King of the original agreement to execute the three-phase plan of operations "without interruption" if the means were available, and suggested, on the basis of MacArthur's message, that there appeared to be means for beginning operations against Lae, Salamaua, and the northeast coast of New Guinea. Marshall took note of the fact that Admiral Nimitz appeared to favor such a course. Finally, he proposed asking MacArthur and Admiral Ghormley whether it were feasible to launch a "limited Task Two," how soon it could be done, and at what point command should pass to MacArthur.40 A request for answers to these questions, and for additional detailed information desired by King, went to MacArthur and Ghormley the following day.41
On 20 August Admiral King informed General Marshall that the development of the Solomons campaign would prevent Admiral Ghormley from releasing any forces to participate in Task Two in the near future, and he inclosed a request from Ghormley for reinforcements in the South Pacific and a list of the forces that Harmon, with Ghormley's approval, had recommended. He stated that it would be necessary to send both air and ground forces, as provided in CCS 94.42
By that time it was no longer the uncertainty of future plans across the Atlantic but the urgency of providing for the invasion of North Africa that limited the commitment of additional Army forces to the Pacific. On 21 August General Arnold struck the new note by urging the needs of TORCH as a reason for refusing to commit any more air forces to the Pacific.43 Admiral Leahy concurred, advising Marshall:
It seems to me that General Arnold is exactly correct in principle. Why not plan to saw all possible planes for "Torch" and meet the requests of Ghorm-

ly [sic] and MacArthur for additional ground troops, partially trained if none better are available.44
General Marshall acted on this advice. He answered the request for more planes, as the staff had earlier advised him to do, simply by transmitting to Admiral King a statement of the steps already taken-the commitment of one additional group to Hawaii and the authorization given for redistributing planes in the South and Southwest Pacific.45
General Marshall at the same time asked General Somervell to tell him what troopships would be leaving for the Pacific in the near future, and the operations staff to see what changes might be made in shipments in order to meet the requests of the Pacific commanders.46 In the light of Somervell's findings and consultation with Army Ground Forces, the operations staff concluded that about 20,000 men-an antiaircraft regiment, the 43d Division, and supporting troops-could be sent to the South Pacific in the latter part of September and early October, on two conditions: ( a ) that the Navy would release ships with a troop lift of about 13,000 (of a total troop lift for the period of about 20,000), and ( b ) that the War Department would postpone scheduled shipments to MacArthur during the period, except for headquarters troops for I Corps, which the staff thought to be essential. Pending the arrival of the reinforcements, General Harmon would have to go ahead on the presently prescribed basis of moving forward garrison forces from the rear areas to consolidate newly acquired positions and relieve Marine units for future landing operations.47 During the next week the War Department went ahead on this basis to prepare for the shipment of the antiaircraft regiment, the 43d Division, and supporting units.48
Even the value of this concession, as Admiral Leahy had anticipated, was limited by the prior claim of TORCH for the best trained divisions. The division that had been training for service in the Pacific the 3d Division-had already been trans-

ferred to the east coast for use in the North African landings.49 There was nothing to do but send a division that had not been fully trained, leaving the South Pacific commanders-and the division itself-to make the best of the situation.50
The Navy Department quickly fell in with the proposed changes, accepting the concession for what it was worth.51 The War Department then informed General MacArthur of the postponement of scheduled shipments to his command.52 At the end of August the Navy indicated that the overseas destination of the reinforcements would be Auckland.53 Early in September, on receiving confirmation from General Harmon, the War Department issued the movement orders.54
The concessions made by the War Department in August did not end the disagreement with the Navy Department and the Pacific commands over the demands they advanced under CCS 94. Instead, the- disagreement became more intense. The landings in the Solomons, as Admiral Kind had from the first expected, produced a strong Japanese reaction and a correspondingly urgent need for more American forces, particularly air forces. The reaction had already begun. By 21 August the marines had eliminated the first echelon of a Japanese combat force (about 900 men ) that had landed on 18 August. A few days later (23-25 August) a naval task force had turned back a second Japanese convoy (Battle of the Eastern Solo-

mons) at the cost of damaging the Enterprise, the one American carrier then in operation in the Pacific.55 Further and stronger Japanese action was a virtual certainty in the near future, posing demands that were sure to conflict with the demands of TORCH, which had been enlarged by the final agreement of the President and the Prime Minister on 5 September to land forces in North Africa simultaneously at Casablanca, Oran, and Algiers.

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