Chapter XI: 
"The Mediterranean Again": August - November 1943
Behind the developments at Quebec, a significant transition in Anglo-American strategic planning in the war against Germany was in process. By the summer of 1943 U.S. manpower and production were coming into full play and lending weight to the American position-now, finally, a united front. On the other hand, the British were reaching the peak of their mobilization. The weight of the two partners in the war against Germany was coming into more equal balance. As a result, the strategic thinking and planning of the British had now to be adapted to American notions even as the Americans had been learning to adjust their ideas, planning, and negotiating techniques to those of their ally. The conglomerate pattern worked out at Quebec was one reflection of the shift in military weight. On the surface, at least, it appeared to offer a synthesis in which British and U.S. strategic ideas might be able to exist in reasonable harmony.
Though there was cause for optimism on the part of the Army strategic planners after Quebec, they also had grounds for caution. On the one hand, there was reason to hope that the period of sparring with the British in and out of the international conferences over the cross-Channel-Mediterranean issue might finally be over. OVERLORD had been accepted and steps taken to keep the Mediterranean advance limited and linked to it. On the other hand, past experience of General Marshall and his staff with the Mediterranean "suction pump" gave them pause. Large forces already deployed to the Mediterranean had tended to generate a strategy of their own-a strategy of opportunism, of sufficient logic and appeal to more than match American staff efforts to counter or dilute it. The Army planners, therefore, in the months following Quebec watched to see whether the agreements at the conference to make OVERLORD "top of the bill" would prove firm enough and the barriers erected to contain the Mediterranean advance strong enough. What appeared to the Army planners to be warning signals on the planning horizon were not long in coming-signs that made them seriously question whether the national policies and war aims of Great Britain and the United States in the war against Germany had actually found a lasting meeting ground in the strategic settlement reached at Quebec.  

Invasion of Italy
At the conclusion of QUADRANT, U.S. Army planners were anxiously awaiting the outcome of the Combined Bomber Offensive, the conflict on the Eastern Front, and the prospective invasion of Italy. Upon the success of these operations depended in large degree the creation of the prerequisite conditions for OVERLORD as defined at QUADRANT.1 Operations in Italy, in the immediate offing, held forth the promise not only of gaining a foothold on the European continent and eliminating Italy from the war but also of containing a maximum number of German divisions and of furnishing valuable bases for extending the air offensive against Germany and her allies. Army planners were much encouraged by the progress made at QUADRANT in weaving prospective operations against Italy with various other undertakings in the European-Mediterranean area into a single pattern to assure the success of OVERLORD. According to QUADRANT agreement, the Mediterranean theater was henceforth to yield to the needs of the cross-Channel operation for manpower and resources. With the prospective invasion of Italy, a new offensive phase in the war against the European Axis seemed to be opening simultaneously with the halting of the diversionary trend to the Mediterranean. Nevertheless, Army planners, as a result of their experience of the past year, kept a sharp lookout lest the attractions and demands of undertakings against the so called soft underbelly of Europe jeopardize the dominance of the cross-Channel operation.
Planning for the elimination of Italy revealed the increasing influence of the field commander and his staff in strategic planning and conduct of operations in midwar, when Allied troops were coming to grips with the enemy and the tempo of operations was quickening. Events were catching up with plans, and even passing them, and the big theater headquarters staff on the spot was performing various operational functions earlier rendered by the Washington headquarters. It will be remembered that, failing to reach precise agreements on post-Sicily Mediterranean strategy at the TRIDENT and Algiers Conferences in the spring of 1943, the Allied chiefs had instructed General Eisenhower to mount operations designed to force Italy out of the war. The Allied Force Headquarters had proceeded to prepare a number of preliminary plans, but final plans and decisions had to await the outcome of HUSKY. Toward the end of June, General Eisenhower had informed the CCS of his intention, following a successful HUSKY, either to invade Calabria (Operation BUTTRESS) and then, if necessary, to enter near Crotone (Operation GOBLET), or to occupy Sardinia (Operation BRIMSTONE. Preferring BUTTRESS, he felt it necessary to undertake that invasion with enough force to occupy the heel and advance as far north as Naples. On 16 July the CCS had approved General Eisenhower's strategic concept and, following General Marshall's lead, expressed interest in the possibilities of a direct amphibious undertaking against Naples.
By 10 August, General Eisenhower had reached a decision to invade Italy  

in early September with attacks to be launched against Calabria and the Salerno area. The fall of Mussolini, the speed-up in the Sicilian campaign, and increasing signs that Italy was ready to sue for peace helped convince Allied planners that an invasion in the Naples area had good prospects for success. The decisive argument in favor of Salerno (Operation AVALANCHE) was that the Allies could not land farther north, largely because such objectives were beyond the effective range of single-motor fighters operating from Sicily. A landing in the Salerno area would put the Allies as close to Rome as possible and in a position to capture the port of Naples, a most valuable asset for the supply of their forces on the mainland.
On 16 August General Eisenhower announced his decision to launch Operation BAYTOWN across the Strait of Messina against the toe of Italy between. 1 and 4 September and to assault the Salerno area on 9 September. Announcement of the cancellation of BUTTRESS soon followed.2 Since a ten-day interval between the two assaults would greatly alleviate the shortage in landing craft, permitting the use of at least some in both operations, his staff strove to make the first of the assaults as early as possible. On the 17th, the day the Sicily Campaign closed, General. Eisenhower's headquarters confirmed the plan to have BAYTOWN precede AVALANCHE by the maximum possible interval.3
BAYTOWN, planned as a predominantly British undertaking, was to be mounted from northeastern Sicily and to employ two divisions of the British Eighth Army (commanded by General Montgomery) in the assault. Striking at Reggio and nearby airfields, the forces were to sweep north to link up with one wing of AVALANCHE and also move toward the east to effect a junction with other British units to be landed near Taranto. AVALANCHE, the major assault on the mainland, was to be launched from Sicily and North Africa by the U.S. Fifth Army (commanded by Lt. Gen. Mark W. Clark), using the U.S. VI Corps and the British 10 Corps.4  
On 3 September General Montgomery's Eighth Army began its crossing of the Strait of Messina. The Allied invasion of continental Europe had become an accomplished fact. On the same day an armistice was signed at Cassibile, near Syracuse, Sicily, by General W. B. Smith for General Eisenhower and Brig. Gen. Giuseppe Castellano for Marshal Badoglio. Public announcement came five days later. The military terms of the unconditional surrender-the so-called short armistice terms-included the cessation of hostilities, the transfer of the Italian Fleet to Allied control, and the  

denial of facilities to the Germans.5 The timing of the announcement was complicated by the fact that originally an American airborne division was to land near Rome at the time the surrender was announced in order to seize the airfields and to deal with the two German armored divisions that had been massed there to aid the Italians. On 2 September-in a communication prepared by the President, the Prime Minister, and General Marshall-General Eisenhower was informed of the Allied chiefs' approval of his decision to go on with AVALANCHE and to land the airborne division near Rome.6 The latter part of the plan was abandoned at the eleventh hour, however, because the Germans, who since the fall of Mussolini on 25 July had been rushing reinforcements into north Italy, had already invested the airfields, and Italian co-operation with the Allies at that time was still not certain.
The collapse of Italian resistance came more quickly than the Germans had expected. Since the end of the Tunisia Campaign, there had been indications of the possible defection of Italy from the Axis. In late August Hitler had his staff prepare a plan (called ACHSE) for that eventuality. Under this plan all Italian units except those still loyal to the Axis and willing to fight were to be disarmed. German forces in the south would be withdrawn to Rome and would then become a part of Field Marshal Rommel's command in northern Italy. The Germans had no firm plan at this point to defend all of Italy since they did not think it feasible without Italian aid. Instead, they believed that the northern Apennines along the Pisa-Arezzo-Ancona line would be the major defense line. The decision to hold as much of Italy as possible was made after the Allied landings.7
On g September AVALANCHE was launched with the U.S. Fifth Army initiating the attack. At Salerno the Fifth Army was composed of the British 10 Corps; and the U.S. VI Corps, comprising the 36th and 45th Infantry Divisions and soon to be reinforced by the 82d Airborne, and the 3d and 34th Infantry Divisions. Planning for AVALANCHE had been complicated because the operation was mounted from widely separated ports in Sicily and North Africa and shipping and landing craft had to be transferred from the BAYTOWN operation.
Although most of the planning for AVALANCHE was done in the theater and on the basis of forces already trained and available there, Army planners in Washington had continued to exercise their usual function of helping the theater commander strengthen his buildup for the operation. Using the yard-  

sticks provided by the QUADRANT decisions and commitments, they measured the requests of General Eisenhower's theater headquarters staff against the needs of OVERLORD and the Combined Bomber Offensive. Thus, in the process of maintaining the delicate balance necessary in the over-all theater adjustment of resources and strength, the Army planners at times acceded to, at times opposed specific requests. They did not satisfy fully Eisenhower's needs in service units and replacements for P-38 groups.8 As a rule, they opposed requests for the augmentation of USAAF bombers, on the grounds that such bombers would have to be diverted from the Combined Bomber Offensive based in the United Kingdom and that the diversion would result in a departure from accepted European strategy. When temporary retention of bombers in the Mediterranean promised no undue delay to the CBO-Eisenhower's request for three Wellington night bomber squadrons to remain in his theater for a month before they were returned to the United Kingdom, for example-the Army planners expressed their agreement.9 On the question of additional divisions for the Italian operation, the War Department took the view that the cargo shipping requirements for any divisions that might be sent could not be permitted to cut into the OVERLORD build-up.10
AVALANCHE was not a big amphibious operation-not as big as TORCH, or HUSKY, Or OVERLORD, or ANVIL-DRAGOON -against southern France in the summer Of 1944-but it involved a fair size force that had become eight divisions by the time it reached Naples and joined up with the British Eighth Army. The Army planners in Washington were encouraged by the quick fall of Foggia (evacuated on 25 September) and the promise of the Allies soon being able to use its air bases to complement the Combined Bomber Offensive from the United Kingdom.11 For the planners, establishment of such an "aerial Second Front" had been a primary objective and a major premise in the justification of an Italian campaign. On 1 October General Clark's forces entered Naples. The Germans fell back to the Volturno River and the formidable defensive positions of the so-called Winter and Gustav Lines. The campaign in Italy thereafter developed into some of the fiercest and most difficult fighting in the war as the Allied forces sought doggedly to push their advance northward toward Rome against these defensive barriers, stubborn enemy resistance, and difficult terrain and weather conditions. In Italy, following the landing at Salerno, the U.S. Fifth Army initiated the longest single campaign for a U.S. Army in World War II.12 In the final analysis, 

the Italian campaign was to become, as General Eisenhower later phrased it, "distinctly a subsidiary operation" in the war against Germany.13 But well into 1944 the issue of the extent of the Allied advance in Italy was to figure in Allied strategic discussions as a troublesome question in the lingering carry-over of the old cross-Channel versus Mediterranean debate.
Rome Versus Rhodes
The surrender of Italy led to renewed British pressure for further operations in the Mediterranean. Undertakings in the Mediterranean, particularly in the eastern Mediterranean, seemed to be as inviting to the British as they were disquieting to the U.S. military planners. American Army planners, believing that the over-all strategy for the defeat of the Axis in Europe accepted at QUADRANT had definitely oriented Allied operations northward and westward from the Mediterranean upon the collapse of Italy, began to fear that the strategic pattern would be upset. All land, sea, and air operations undertaken thenceforth, in their opinion, must directly support the cross-Channel effort; unwarranted diversions from the main objective must be avoided. The first mission assigned at QUADRANT to General Eisenhower as Allied Commander-elimination of Italy -had been accomplished; his second major task-to contain a maximum number of German forces in the Mediterranean-had to be carried out so far as possible with forces already available in the area. Eastern Mediterranean operations, the planners believed, in particular were likely to prove to be a vacuum that would draw off vital strength. They recognized British strategic responsibility for such operations based on the Middle East but held that those undertakings should be restricted to forces available in that area. Just as they sought to avoid an overemphasis of eastern Mediterranean ventures, so in a choice between allocating critical resources to the western Mediterranean or to OVERLORD they put their weight behind OVERLORD.14 In effect, the post-QUADRANT position of the War Department and the JCS was only a refinement of the basic American wish to remain uninvolved in the eastern Mediterranean and to be faithful to the OVERLORD-western Mediterranean pattern outlined at the conference.
Largely with this in mind, the War Department soon after QUADRANT proceeded to put into effect plans to scale down the U.S. effort in the Middle East -other than in aid to the USSR. At the beginning of September it dissolved the USAFICA (U.S. Army Forces in Central Africa) command and incorporated its area with USAFIME (U.S. Army Forces in the Middle East), relieving Brig. Gen.  

Earl S. Hoag as commander of USAFICA and appointing a new commander, Maj. Gen. Ralph Royce, to succeed General Brereton in USAFIME.15  These steps followed closely on the heels of the consolidation by the AAF of units of the Ninth Air Force (in the Middle East) with the Twelfth in the Mediterranean and its decision a little later to reconstitute the Ninth under General Brereton in the United Kingdom-ending its period of service in the Mediterranean.16
Royce arrived in the theater on 10 September and reported his new command in effect five days later. War Department instructions to Royce emphasized British strategic responsibility in the area, but, unlike the previous instructions to U.S. commanders in the area, they called for a reduction of aid to the British to a minimum. Royce was also ordered to keep the number of his troops low so that the manpower of the U.S. Army might be employed "more directly" against the enemy.17  Events were soon to show that these unilateral actions to scale down the American effort in the Middle East were not enough to dampen British enthusiasm for Mediterranean - especially eastern Mediterranean-ventures.
A round of debate on Mediterranean operations opened almost immediately upon the invasion of Italy. On the same day that AVALANCHE was launched-9 September 1943-the Prime Minister, who had returned to Washington after the Quebec conference, sent for General Marshall.18 He showed Marshall a statement of his views on courses of action in the European-Mediterranean area following anticipated successes in Italy and indicated that he intended to present the memorandum to the President that day. Mr. Churchill's idea was that he and the President should hold a special meeting with the CCS later in the day to take stock of the new over-all situation presented by the collapse of Italy, and, in the process, discuss points raised in the memorandum. No decisions, he added, were to be expected. Considering it desirable for the JCS to meet before the session with the President and Prime Minister and the British military advisers, General Marshall had copies of the Prime Minister's note sent to the other joint Chiefs as well as to the American planners.
In his statement the Prime Minister pointed out that, on the assumption the Allies would gain the Italian Fleet, the British fleet that had hitherto contained it would be released for service elsewhere. Substantial British naval power  

therefore could be added to the prosecution of the war against Japan. It was his understanding that all were agreed that, following a decisive victory in the Naples area, the Allied armies would advance northward up the Italian Peninsula until they encountered the main German position.19 He proposed consideration of various possible Mediterranean operations-Corsica, Sardinia, Balkans, Rhodes, and so forth-on the assumption that the current "battle for Naples and Rome" would be successful and the Germans would retreat to the line of the Apennines or the Po. Churchill hoped that by the end of 1943, at the latest, the Allied force would be confronting the main German line in Italy in full strength. For the 1944 campaign, the Allies should be "chary of advancing northward beyond the narrow part of the Italian Peninsula." By the spring of 1944, strengthened by a fortified line that would have been constructed in the meantime by the Allies-a line to be manned in part by Italian troops-a portion of the Allied troops could be diverted for action elsewhere, either to the west or to the east. He wished it understood that "there can be no question of whittling down OVERLORD," but he stressed the importance of the Balkan situation and expressed the belief that sufficient use was not being made of the forces in the Middle East. When the defensive line across northern Italy had been established, it might be possible to spare some of the Allied forces assigned to the Mediterranean theater "to emphasize a movement north and northeastward from the Dalmatian ports."
Analyzing these proposals for General Marshall, the Operations Division agreed that, on the whole, the strategy proposed was sound. It took as its guidepost the fundamental assumption supported by Army planners before and during QUADRANT that the overriding aim of projected operations in the European-Mediterranean area was the success of OVERLORD.20 Agreeing with the Prime Minister that the best possible use be made of the Italian Navy and merchant marine, the Army planners suggested that the critical problem of maintaining them be studied by the British Admiralty and the U.S. Navy Department. They agreed, too, that after a decisive victory in the Naples area, the British-American forces should move northwards until they came against the main German position and certainly far enough to secure suitable air bases to complement the Combined Bomber Offensive. To employ Italian divisions as front-line combat troops, as suggested by the Prime Minister, seemed more questionable. They should be of great value, however, for garrison duty in southern Italy, Sicily, and Sardinia and for administrative tasks ill the rear areas, thereby releasing Allied troops. As soon as the Allied forces had reached the main German position, a strong defensive line should be established to protect, for the time being, the prospective air bases in central Italy. Allied resources should be able to cope successfully with enemy counterattacks; Allied air capabilities, in particular, should preclude large-scale  

or decisive enemy action. Any diversion of German strength to the Italian theater, moreover, would indirectly contribute to the success of OVERLORD.
Going further, the Operations Division expressed the Army's continuing reluctance to become involved in eastern Mediterranean operations. It called for close examination of any suggestion to divert Allied troops eastward or westward of Italy: "The diversion of any major forces to the eastward should be resisted unless it can be conclusively shown that such action contributes to the success of OVERLORD."21 It agreed that careful study must be given to the possibility of supplementing the means agreed upon at QUADRANT for supplies to the guerrilla forces in the Balkans. To use British-American forces, as the Prime Minister had suggested, "to emphasize a movement north-northeastward from Dalmatian ports" was, however, "a dangerous diversionary idea" and should be resisted. Operations against Sardinia and Corsica should be executed with the resources available in the area. The planners agreed that those islands could be easily captured and felt their seizure would facilitate operations against southern France. While the Operations Division stated that it had not as yet been informed of the plans of General Sir Henry Maitland Wilson (the British commander in chief in the Middle East) for Rhodes and the other Dodecanese Islands, it recommended that any operations against those islands should be carried out only with resources available in the Middle East. The sum of such actions in the Mediterranean would best in- . sure the most effective and timely employment of the combined resources and the strategic areas becoming available to the Allies, and would hasten the defeat of Germany.22
At the special JCS meeting held shortly before the session with the two political leaders on 9 September, the Joint Chiefs expressed doubts and reservations concerning the Prime Minister's proposals for the Mediterranean. Admiral King pointed out that the Prime Minister had said that he looked east and west, but that when the Prime Minister looked west all he saw was Sardinia and Corsica. The Prime Minister evidently had overlooked the probability of a German withdrawal behind the Alps and a consequent landing by French forces on the coast of southern France in support Of OVERLORD. General Marshall upheld the views of the Army planners. In particular, he emphasized that, from the Army point of view, the Prime Minister's statement about an advance north and northeastward from the Dalmatian ports "did not look so good. "23
The discussion, continued at the White House with the Prime Minister, the President, and the British Chiefs of Staff, was in reality a brief postlude to QUADRANT.24 Steps were discussed for the conversion of Italy into an active agent in the war against Germany and for the best use of Italian resources and forces against the common enemy. At this meeting the President agreed with the Prime Minister that the Allied armies should advance as far north as  

possible in Italy and then dig in, using whatever Italian forces might be available for defensive operations. Operations in the Balkans, he maintained, would be "largely a matter of opportunity," and the Allied forces should be prepared to take advantage of any opportunity that presented itself. The President, too, looked for great benefits to be secured from the use of the Italian Fleet and elements of the British fleet released from operations in the war against the Western Axis Powers. In line with a suggestion made by the Prime Minister, the various Mediterranean preparations were referred to the Combined Staff for further examination.
On 10 September the Combined Chiefs of Staff reported to the President and Prime Minister that they were in agreement with the general conception of subsequent operations in Italy.25 They called for an exploration of the possibility of using Italian naval units for transport purposes in the Mediterranean area. Great importance should be attached to the Balkan situation, and every effort should then be made to augment by sea the supplies being sent by air to the patriot forces. Admiral Leahy and General Marshall agreed with Sir John Dill in expressing the hope that it would be possible to use Dalmatian coast ports to supply Balkan forces without seizing the ports by amphibious operations. Responsibility for support of the Balkan guerrillas was to remain, the CCS agreed, with the Commander in Chief, Middle East, working in closest co-operation with General Eisenhower. They approved the action then being taken by the Commander in Chief, Middle East, with respect to Rhodes and other islands in the Dodecanese. The Office of Strategic Services and the corresponding British agency had already been directed to try their hand in Sardinia. The combined military chiefs agreed with the Prime Minister that French forces should, if possible, be used for the capture of Corsica.
The British and U.S. military staffs seemed, therefore, to be in substantial agreement on Mediterranean operations. Differences in point of view between the Prime Minister and the JCS on the operations, revealed in the go-round in Washington following the AVALANCHE landings, did not come to a head at once, since no new decisions were thought to be immediately necessary. The basic agreements of QUADRANT in the war against the European Axis still appeared to be firm. In accord with the accepted Allied planning for the western Mediterranean, Sardinia and Corsica soon fell into Allied hands. The Italians in Sardinia handed over the island to U.S. troops, and by 18 September the occupation was complete. By 5 October German troops had evacuated Corsica, and French troops arriving from Algiers took control.
Reaction to events in the eastern Mediterranean in late summer and early fall of 1943 made the apparent agreement between the American and British staffs, however, seem illusory. The specific issue arose in connection with operations against Rhodes and other islands in the Dodecanese. The Dodecanese Islands had been largely garrisoned by Italian troops, and the surrender of Italy offered the possibility of easy capture by the Allies. Plans and  

preparations for the capture of Rhodes had been in the making in the Middle East Command for several months but, up to the collapse of Italy, General Wilson's plans for action in the Dodecanese had necessarily been held in abeyance. On 9 September, swiftly upon Italy's surrender, Churchill cabled from Washington to General Wilson "This is the time to play high. Improvise and dare."26  On the night of 9 September, Major Lord Jellicoe landed by parachute with a small mission on Rhodes to try to bring about a quick surrender of the island. Unfortunately, the Italians were unable to overcome the Germans on the island, and Jellicoe had to make a hasty departure. Within the next few days, small forces dispatched by Wilson to Kos, Samos, and Leros quickly won them.27  It soon became apparent that the Italian forces had no desire for further fighting. If the Allies were to hold the islands, they would have to provide garrisons, and these could come only from the Allied forces then locked in a bitter struggle in Italy. American policy on the eastern Mediterranean was crystallized in response to the insistence of the British Chiefs of Staff, and of the Prime Minister in particular, that support be provided for the islands.28 The Prime Minister had long been impressed with the strategic value of gaining control of the Aegean. The surrender of Italy appeared to him to have given the Allies an excellent opportunity to do just that at small cost. To command the Aegean might yield a rich harvest in stimulating Balkan resistance, obtaining the participation of Turkey, and gaining a short-cut sea route to the USSR. The key to all this was Rhodes and its airfields. In his view, moreover; the campaign in Italy could not be viewed separately from events in the Aegean. Early in October he declared to the President:
I believe it will be found that the Italian and Balkan peninsulas are militarily and politically united, and that really it is one theatre with which we have to deal.29
On 3 October the British Chiefs of Staff informed the JCS of their agreement with the view of the (British) Commander in Chief, Middle East, on the desirability of capturing Rhodes.30 General Wilson had declared in late September that the seizure of Rhodes would be necessary to insure Allied positions in islands already occupied in the eastern Mediterranean. 31 To capture Rhodes,  

he had maintained, would break the outer ring of the defenses of the Balkans, jeopardize enemy positions in Crete, and provide a base for effective action against enemy sea communications throughout the Aegean. The latter effort, in conjunction with bombing from the heel of Italy against land communications, might, furthermore, force the enemy to withdraw from Greece. The British Chiefs of Staff informed their American colleagues that they were especially anxious to avoid a withdrawal from Kos and Leros, and this could be done only by seizing Rhodes. They wished the Middle East commander to consult with AFHQ in preparing the plan for action.
In the next two days General Eisenhower called the attention of the CCS and the War Department to the implications for his theater of an operation against Rhodes and sought the advice of the Washington Army headquarters. To General Marshall he stated his wish to insure that his planning for the winter campaign in Italy would dovetail with the larger projects in view in Washington.32  He was anxious to have enough assets to carry out undertakings to support OVERLORD effectively. In particular, he sought the Chief of Staff's views on the Middle East problems, which were constantly recurring. While he recognized that those problems were to a considerable extent bound up with his own, he wished to avoid being drawn into any "mere diversion" involving relatively unimportant and "unrelated" objectives. It was General Eisenhower's personal view that the greatest possible assistance he could give OVERLORD would be to conduct a vigorous fall and winter campaign and capture the Po Valley 33  From the Po Valley, he reasoned, the Allied forces could threaten and actually stage diversionary operations in southern France. To the CCS General Eisenhower reported that if an aggressive policy were pursued in the Aegean, his theater would be asked to undertake air and sea commitments that it might not be able to afford.34  He drew attention to the difficult problems facing him on the mainland of Italy and his especial need for the air forces available. Any significant diversion of strength would, in his opinion, jeopardize the success of the Italian operation.
War Department planners backed General Eisenhower's point of view and reaffirmed strongly the American position on remaining uninvolved in eastern Mediterranean operations.35 They advanced a number of arguments against the Rhodes operation. Events had already overtaken the British plan, since the reoccupation of Kos by the Germans, then in progress, had in effect deprived prospective operations against Rhodes  

of the only airfield from which fighter planes could operate effectively. The Middle East was not able to furnish the forces and resources either for launching or for maintaining an Aegean operation. Additional forces would necessarily, therefore, have to come from those urgently needed for Italy. The Italian situation did not warrant, in their opinion, the assumption that air resources or even the two LST's (landing ship, tank) required by the Middle East plans could be transferred to the eastern Mediterranean for the Aegean operation. To divert these resources in support of a "strategically unimportant secondary operation" could only result in jeopardizing the Italian campaign. The planners also feared that the British were visualizing a continued increase in the size of the eastern Mediterranean operations. The Rhodes operation could be viewed only as the beginning of an endless chain of demands for additional forces that would finally result in the eastern Mediterranean drawing off "all the available United Nations resources." The occupation of Rhodes could, moreover, be considered merely as a preliminary step toward a series of operations in the eastern Mediterranean leading to the Balkan mainland. To initiate these moves would be to invite a violent counterattack by the Germans, and the Allies would then find themselves confronted with the necessity of conducting another major operation in the Mediterranean under far less favorable conditions than those under which the current operations were taking place.
The War Department planners concluded that continued operations in the eastern Mediterranean, weighed in the light of the Allied commitments, re- sources, and the approved strategy for 1944, were therefore unacceptable to the United States.36 If, despite these arguments, further action was to take place in the eastern Mediterranean, it must be held to a minimum. The planners recommended to the Chief of Staff that undertakings in the eastern Mediterranean be delayed until such time as they could be of help to the other European operations in the accepted strategic pattern. If the British Chiefs of Staff, however, adhered to their decision to conduct Aegean operations in October 1943, the JCS should disapprove the initiation of any operations that would require forces beyond those currently assigned to the Middle East.
In early October the JCS debated the issue.37 General McNarney advanced a somewhat different line of argument from that of the War Department planners. The Deputy Chief of Staff called attention to the fact that General Wilson apparently had about 3,000 planes and a very large land force then idle. This strength should be used if possible. In McNarney's opinion, the JCS could not take exception to the British view of the strategic significance of Rhodes. If the Allies remained inactive in the Aegean, moreover, the Germans would withdraw troops for use on other fronts. But, McNarney added, the removal of forces from General Eisenhower's theater for such operations in the Aegean could be done only with General Eisenhower's concurrence, and the United States would then give such added assistance as  

it could. - If resources could be found to make operations against Rhodes possible, he was, therefore, in favor of such action.
To Admiral Leahy, the Middle East was "entirely a British proposition." But, since the British wished to withdraw certain resources from the North African theater, the United States would thereby become involved in the operations in the Middle East. The JCS had given their approval to operations in the Middle East, and could not withdraw it. At the same time Leahy did not feel that the JCS could permit the British "unilaterally" to take resources from General Eisenhower's theater.38 He too feared lest such operations develop into a major campaign in which the United States would find itself involved.
At this point General Marshall suggested a compromise solution that would safeguard the agreed strategic pattern of QUADRANT and General Eisenhower's interests in the Italian campaign, and at the same time respect British strategic responsibility in the Middle East.39 He recommended that such assistance be given to the Middle East Command as in General Eisenhower's view could be spared from the Italian campaign. The JCS accepted Marshall's proposal. They further agreed to announce to the British Chiefs of Staff that they could not approve of directing General Eisenhower to provide for the Middle East Command any forces or equipment that, in his opinion, were needed for his Italian campaign.40
The views of the JCS, forwarded to the British Chiefs of Staff, were almost immediately confirmed by the President. On 7 October he informed the Prime Minister that he was opposed to any diversion of strength that, in the Allied Force Commander's opinion, was necessary during the current critical phase of the Italian campaign. He did not wish to force on General Eisenhower diversions that might limit the prospects of reaching a secure line north of Rome. There was no objection, however, to Eisenhower's supplying assistance he believed could be spared. The President added his dissent to any diversion of forces or equipment that would jeopardize OVERLORD. At his request, the War Department relayed his conclusions to General Eisenhower. 41
Disappointed but not discouraged, the Prime Minister took a new tack. He urged the President to permit him to arrange a meeting between the Prime Minister and the British Chiefs of Staff on the one hand, and General Marshall or the President's personal representative and General Eisenhower on the other, at the latter's headquarters, to discuss the Rhodes operation. The American stand, however, remained firm-no undue pressure should be exerted on the Allied Commander in the midst of his 

critical campaign. Advising against such a conference, the War Department declared that the question was whether the Allies were to advance to positions north of Rome or to enter into a Balkan campaign, starting with "the southern tip."42  Hopkins informed the Prime Minister by transatlantic telephone, in the midst of an apparently bitter exchange over Dodecanese operations, that there was no chance of General Marshall's being sent to such a meeting and that the CCS could deal with recommendations for new moves .43
Washington and London agreed to await General Eisenhower's recommendations for action after weighing the British and American points of view.44 These came quickly. On 9 October the whole problem of eastern Mediterranean and Italian operations was threshed out at a conference at La Marsa in Tunis between General Eisenhower, his commanders in chief, and the Commander in Chief, Middle East.45 The case for Rhodes was weakened by receipt of reports that Hitler intended to reinforce his army in Italy and fight a major battle south of Rome. The conferees soon concluded that the British-American resources in the Mediterranean-particularly landing craft and air strength were not large enough to undertake the capture of Rhodes and at the same time to attain the immediate objectives in Italy. The minimum line that had to be reached at the earliest possible date to stabilize the Allied position in Italy, they agreed, was a secure position north of Rome. To attain that goal, a full concentration of Allied resources was necessary. A choice therefore had to be made "between Rhodes and Rome." Confronted with that choice, the commanders in the field were unanimous in their conclusion that Allied efforts had to be concentrated on the Italian campaign. They therefore recommended that the Rhodes operation be postponed until favorable weather and available forces gave the operation a reasonable chance of success and that the CCS reexamine the situation in the Aegean after the capture of Rome.
In Washington, the Army planners enthusiastically received the Mediterranean commanders' decisions.46 On 15 October the U.S. and British Chiefs of Staff also approved the recommendations.47 The operation against Rhodes would be postponed, but the question was to be re-examined after the capture of Rome. Acknowledging that the situation had been considerably altered by the German intention to reinforce southern Italy and fight a battle before Rome, the Prime Minister reluctantly concluded that he had to submit and accept the decision, "painful" as it was .48   

retrospect, Churchill has written that this decision caused him ". . . one of the sharpest pangs I suffered in the war . . ." He has explained: "When so many grave issues were pending, I could not risk any jar in my personal relations with the President." Nevertheless, he could not avoid the conclusion-even years after the close of hostilities-that as a result of the American staff's "pedantic" enforcement of its views at this point, a great opportunity had been lost.49 As it turned out, the Germans quickly completed their reconquest of the Dodecanese, but it took the Allies eight more months to capture Rome.
The Balkans and Turkey
The apparent resolution in mid-October of the debate over the Rhodes operation did not dispel the Army's fears that continued British pressure for Mediterranean-and particularly for east Mediterranean-ventures would pose a serious threat to QUADRANT decisions. The Army planners felt that they had to be alert to counter such pressure and prepare to defend the American position in subsequent meetings with the British. As one Army planner on duty with the British joint planners in the United Kingdom had written back to his colleagues in the War Department during the debate over Rhodes, "The Prime Minister is interested in the Mediterranean] again, and the Eastern Mediterranean] too. The Planners [in the U.K.] have been loyal to QUADRANT but their hands may be forced. We had better make damn complete studies and establish our position."50 With this end in view, in late October and early November the War Department planners restudied and restated their position on Mediterranean operations.
The specter of Balkan operations produced a reaffirmation of the planners' basic view of major operations and American involvement in that area. They continued to argue that a major offensive in the Balkans would require maneuvering of large forces in an area where it would be virtually impossible to maintain them because of logistical difficulties. It would necessitate the longest lines of communications of any projected operations in the Mediterranean theater, a theater already at the end of a long communications line. There were three main routes into the Balkans: one, across which the enemy then stood in force, extended from the head of the Adriatic through northern Yugoslavia toward Austria and Hungary; another extended from Salonika along the narrow and rugged Vardar River valley through eastern Yugoslavia to the Dan- 

ube near Belgrade; the third reached from Istanbul through Thrace westward via Sofia and Hungary. Use of Salonika or Istanbul as a base for a Balkan invasion would have extended the Allied line of communications into the Mediterranean approximately 900 and 1,500 miles respectively. Terrain, meteorological conditions, and lack of internal communications would make such operations most difficult. In the familiar vein of War Department studies, the planners maintained that such operations would involve the United States in a war of attrition-costly and drawn-out. Such undertakings would, it followed, postpone final decisions in the war against Germany and hence in the war against Japan. They concluded, therefore, that from a military point of view the Balkans were unsuitable for major operations against Germany.
The War Department planners looked for ways and means of keeping subsequent action in the Balkan-eastern Mediterranean area within the accepted basic pattern of operations. They recommended playing on German sensitivity in the Aegean and in the Balkans by a resourceful use of feints and deception in order to assist OVERLORD. Middle East forces should be constantly on the alert to capitalize on any opportunities that might arise in the Aegean should the German position in the Mediterranean weaken. In keeping with the QUADRANT decisions, Allied strategy in the Balkans should continue, they concluded, to be the acceleration of supply to the Balkan guerrillas, air attacks upon vital economic centers, land and sea raids against the coast, and, if possible, minor actions by commandos. In the final analysis, the Allied strategy would be best served if Germany continued to hold the Balkans, provided it were forced to garrison them heavily and pay a high price in troops and matériel.51
War Department apprehensions about the Balkans were shared by the Germans, but for different reasons. The Germans intended to defend the Balkans; they could not afford to do otherwise. The area provided oil, bauxite, copper, and other resources that Germany required to sustain its war machine. During the summer and fall of 1943 the Germans feared that the Allies would invade the Balkans as well as Italy and had steadily reinforced both regions. German forces in the Balkans had increased from ten and a half divisions to sixteen in the three-month period from 15 July to 15 October, while those in Italy had climbed from six and a half to nineteen and a half divisions.52
In early October Hitler issued directives to the Balkan and Italian commands. In his opinion, the Allies would make their main effort either from south- 

ern Italy in the direction of Albania-Montenegro-southern Croatia Or from central Italy, once the Allies captured it, toward northern Croatia and Istria. He intended to defend both the Balkans and Italy and to prevent the Allies from enlarging their foothold in southern Italy. To restrict Allied expansion in the south, Germany would defend the Italian Peninsula along the so-called Gustav Line from Gaeta to Ortona and the Balkan Peninsula down to the Peloponnesus.53 Thus, the determination of the German leaders to make a stand as far away from the homeland as possible led to the development of a strong protective crust for the "soft underbelly" by October 1943. The Allied threat in the Mediterranean was to be contained.
While the Germans were bolstering their defenses in the Balkans, the War Department planners were concerned over the closely related problem of Turkey. The Army planners had long recognized the advantages of Turkey's becoming an active participant in the war and of thus securing the use of its air bases for operations against the Balkans-projects close to the heart of the Prime Minister. But, as usual, they were anxious about the price and proper timing of that entry. As the Axis thrust eastward had been blunted and Anglo-American agreements were reached on OVERLORD, the American military planners had increasingly doubted the practicability of weaning Turkey from neutrality. In fact, when the crisis on the Soviet front passed in the summer of 1943, the planners called for a change in Anglo-American policy toward Turkey from conciliation and cajoling to sternness.54 Emphasizing the priority of OVERLORD and the ineffectiveness to date of the sizable economic aid and considerable British military commitment to bring Turkey into the war, they called for a reduction in aid to Turkey.55 The JWPC went so far as to suggest that such a recommendation might serve to dampen British interest in the eastern Mediterranean. Token aid, they held, should be furnished to Turkey in return for benevolent neutrality.56
At QUADRANT the British planners had themselves pointed to the marked "cooling off" of Turkey's attitude in recent 

months, and stated that they hoped soon to have airfields in Italy from which to bomb Ploesti and communications in the Balkans, eliminating the need for Turkish airfields.57 General Marshall and the JCS had supported the policy of reduced aid, and the British Chiefs of Staff had agreed that from a military point of view the time was not ripe for Turkey to enter on the Allied side and that supplies should be "slowed to a trickle, "58 To secure the benevolent neutrality of Turkey the CCS, the President, and the Prime Minister had approved at Quebec a policy of supplying such equipment "as we can spare and as the Turks can absorb."59
In the late months of 1943 the British once more raised the issue of active Turkish participation in the war, this time in conjunction with the possibility of securing Turkish help for operations in the Aegean against Rhodes and the Dodecanese and of gaining a shorter sea route, via the Dardanelles, for delivering supplies to the USSR. Intent on the cross-Channel undertaking, the American planners seriously doubted that the time was right for Turkey's entry. They argued that assistance required by the neutral power in the eastern Mediterranean must not in any case prejudice planned operations in Europe. By early November the U.S. military position on the Balkan-eastern Mediterranean region was being crystallized in this mold on the joint level for presentation to the President and the British.60
Mediterranean Build-up Versus OVERLORD
Requirements of the Italian Campaign
While the U.S. planners felt it necessary in the fall of 1943 to prepare the American case against major involvement in the Balkan-eastern Mediterranean area, they were also viewing with some alarm-on both Army and joint levels-the British attitude toward the withdrawal of Allied resources from the Italian campaign for the build-up in the United Kingdom. The British position merely confirmed the suspicion that the British goal was increased emphasis on the Mediterranean and that the OVERLORD pattern would be upset. Sympathetic as the Washington military planners were with the needs of the Allied commander in the bitter conflict on the Italian mainland, they nevertheless felt that the major part of the strategic objectives in the Mediterranean had already been attained. General Eisenhower should, in their opinion, be supported as strongly as possible, but not at the expense of OVERLORD. The time had come for Allied undertakings to be oriented definitely northward and westward.  

In late October the British Chiefs of Staff expressed the view that if the campaign in Italy led to a reverse or even to a stalemate, OVERLORD would inevitably have to be postponed. In the light of Allied naval and air superiority, the Washington military planners could not agree that the Italian campaign was very likely to result in a reverse or even a stalemate. Even if either of these events did occur, they could not agree that OVERLORD would have to be postponed. By knocking Italy out of the war, gaining control of the Italian Fleet, acquiring air bases in Italy, and occupying Sardinia and Sicily, the United States and the United Kingdom had already achieved their basic strategic objectives in the Mediterranean, and had achieved them earlier than anticipated. To take any action that would jeopardize OVERLORD, the primary effort, merely to insure an Allied advance farther on the Italian mainland would, in the planners' opinion, be militarily unsound. In the long run, a German counteroffensive might even enable General Eisenhower's forces to contain a maximum number of divisions and lead to the greatest possible attrition of the enemy's forces. In mid-November these conclusions were approved on the American joint level.61
While the Washington planners were preparing the American case for continued subordination of the Italian campaign to OVERLORD, General Marshall was arguing in a similar vein with the Prime Minister. In late October the Prime Minister informed General Marshall, via Field Marshall Dill, "Naturally I feel in my marrow the withdrawal of our 50th and 51st Divisions, our best, from the very edge of the battle of Rome in the interests of distant OVERLORD. We are carrying out our contract, but I pray God it does not cost us dear."62 General Marshall assured the Prime Minister that he realized General Eisenhower's difficulties.63 In fact, Washington headquarters was even then examining with General Morgan (COSSAC) the possibilities of meeting General Eisenhower's immediate problem-landing craft. But Marshall observed that, in the Washington view, General Eisenhower had adequate troops to fight in Italy without undue risks and that, as General Eisenhower himself had pointed out, the more Germans he could contain in Italy, the better were the chances of OVERLORD.
The potential cost to OVERLORD of a strong Allied bid to advance to Rome and farther north in the face of the determined German resistance also led the Washington staff to view with reservations the planning of General Eisenhower's staff for the fall and winter offensive in Italy. The Commander in Chief, Allied Force Headquarters, had expressed the belief that nothing would  

help OVERLORD so much as the early establishment of the Allied forces in the Po Valley.64 Once in the Po Valley, the force would be ready to stage a sharp diversionary action in southern France and thereafter in the Balkans, a threat that would draw off German reserves from OVERLORD. The Allied theater staff recommended that certain resources, therefore, be retained in the Mediterranean as long as possible. In studying these recommendations, the Army planners in Washington agreed with the JSSC conclusion that to specify the Po Valley as a strategic objective would imply that sufficient forces should be provided by the CCS.65 On the ground that the Po Valley objective might be obtained only at the expense of OVERLORD, the JSSC and the Army planners, therefore, opposed it. At the close of October the JCS informally approved these recommendations. 66
Nevertheless, in the light of Eisenhower's serious view of his immediate needs, Washington headquarters was willing to make some compromises. In early November the Prime Minister and the British Chiefs of Staff took the position that holding the sixty LST's in the Mediterranean, as General Eisenhower had requested for his operations, would not materially affect OVERLORD.67 The American planners proposed and the CCS accepted-after discussion with the theater headquarters-that he be allowed to retain the LST's until 15 December 1943.68 The Army staff, though aware of the QUADRANT decision to all but strip the Mediterranean of amphibious lift, felt that the effect on OVERLORD of this temporary retention would be minor, but that to conduct additional major Operations in Italy beyond those then planned by the Allied Force Headquarters would not be possible without at least postponing, and probably abandoning, OVERLORD.69 Undoubtedly, Admiral King's announcement on 5 November that an increase of LST's, LCI (L)'s (landing craft, infantry, large), and LCT's (landing craft, tank) over and above scheduled allotments for OVERLORD would be sent in the coming months to the United Kingdom provided further reassurance for the Army Staff.70
"A Question of Manpower"
Back of the War Department planners' insistence in the fall of 1943 on the para-  

mountcy of OVERLORD lay their concern over the limits of U.S. armed strength. Despite the measures adopted by the Army to hold the troop basis to a minimum, it had again become necessary for the War Department-this time not long after QUADRANT-to defend its requirements before Congressional committees. In September General McNarney had appeared before the Senate Military Affairs Committee in support of the 7,700,000-men army.71 Speaking in general but illuminating terms, he based the Army case upon strategic requirements, logistics, and the timing of operations. The American policy of defeating Germany first and building up a powerful air force at the temporary expense of the ground combat units had proved sound, he maintained, but it remained as imperative as ever to mobilize and train a strong ground force to complement the air strength. The Army had chosen to win air mastery first because of greater American aircraft production capabilities and the enemy's preponderance in divisions. Despite heavy losses resulting from Allied air and ground activity, however, the enemy had been able to maintain and even expand its armies by drastic economies in manpower. This meant, McNarney declared, that the United States not only must continue to inflict damage on the foe but also must strive to speed up its pace. The Deputy Chief of Staff went on to state that, since the Army had established stations all over the world, the problems of logistics must also be weighed in conjunction with strategic considerations. To supply and maintain the far-flung chain of bases and to keep combat units in action required large increases in the numbers of service troops. These requirements would be further expanded as the enemy's perimeter shrank and American lines of communications grew longer. Fortunately, the shipping situation had improved, and there were now brighter prospects for transporting larger amounts of men and supplies overseas.
Turning to the third factor bearing on the size of the army, the timing of operations, McNarney asserted that, when an operation was set up, military personnel needed to carry it out successfully had to be inducted, trained, equipped, transported, and deployed in a specified area at a designated time. The Army staff had carefully studied the strategic requirements, logistics, and the timing of operations before drawing up the troop basis and General Marshall felt very strongly that the 7,700,000-man army was the minimum that could do the job. Any reduction in this total, McNarney warned in closing, would require a change in the strategic commitments of the United States.72 The struggle for acceptance of the Army estimates and the intimation that a 7,700,000-man force would be the limit of Congressional support prompted Marshall to instruct all theater commanders to survey their rear echelon establishments with a view to trimming requirements. "It is no longer entirely a question of shipping," he informed them, "basically it is now a question of manpower."73
Despite the favorable developments of the summer in the Russo-German campaign and the increasing success of the  

Combined Bomber Offensive, G-3 advised Marshall to defer final decision on the Army manpower ceiling until the spring of 1944.74 The Operations Division felt, however, that the 7,700,000 figure was an acceptable one, especially since the War Department's economy program had worked out so well. As General Tansey, Chief of the Division's Logistics Group, saw it, this total would be wholly consistent with the U.S. manpower, production, and shipping capabilities, as well as with over-all strategy.75 The President's approval of the JCS recommendations for a 7,700,000-man army and over-all armed strength of 11,264,000 for 1944 (including 320,000 women) came in November 1943. It marked the reduction of ultimate Army strength to the level recommended by the Maddocks Committee report of June 1943-a figure henceforth to be accepted in joint mobilization planning. The ceiling of 7,700,000 was to remain the authorized limit of Army expansion down to the end of the war in Europe in May 1945. 76
The Strategic Pattern and the Deployment Trend
In the light of the manpower situation, the need to keep planned deployment and agreed strategy in balance appeared to the Army staff to be more urgent than ever. Commitments of U.S. forces for major operations to end the war in Europe had been entered into at QUADRANT; Mediterranean operations were to be limited to forces already available in the area. Significant variations in the deployment of strength and allocation of means from accepted decisions in the war against the Western Axis Powers not only might endanger the over-all European pattern but also might jeopardize the availability of strength eventually needed to defeat Japan. Each division dispatched overseas would draw in its wake a train of vital shipping and supplies. War Department planners, therefore, sought to distribute manpower and resources carefully, trying as always to weigh the "necessary" against the "desirable" and to maintain the ever delicate balance of vital strength among the diverse theaters and operations. Even on the basis of the most careful -calculations, OVERLORD did not seem to contain enough strength to promise a sufficiently wide margin for success. A suggestion by the British Chiefs of Staff and COSSAC after QUADRANT on the desirability of increasing the striking force for the OVERLORD assault by one division was causing a desperate, widespread search by the British and American Chiefs of Staff for the necessary landing craft.77
By the beginning of November 1943, twenty-eight of the existing total of ninety U.S. divisions were deployed overseas.78 Seven divisions were in the Euro- 

pean theater and eight in the Mediterranean- a total of only two more divisions than the thirteen in the Pacific areas.79 Of the total of 262 air groups, 119 were then overseas, with 39 in the European, 37 in the Mediterranean, and the remainder scattered in the Western Hemisphere, Pacific, and Asiatic areas.80
The bulk of the existing ground and air strength-62 divisions and 143 air groups-was thus still in the continental United States. By the close of 1944 the division strength was to amount, according to the Victory Program Troop Basis approved in October 1943, to 105 divisions (a total never actually reached in World War II). 81  During 1944, according to the current estimates, nineteen U.S. divisions would have to be made available for OVERLORD by 1 May, and by the end of the year the United States build-up in the United Kingdom was to rise to forty-seven divisions.82 In view of world-wide demands and accepted ceilings and limits on manpower, the necessity of husbanding and concentrating strength to meet the heavy ground and air demands for OVERLORD and the follow-up on the Continent and still have enough forces left over for a strategic reserve and for defeating Japan was henceforth to be a constant concern to the War Department planners.
Intent as the Washington Army staff was in the late months of 1943 on building up strength in the United Kingdom -a movement that steadily increased after its resumption in May and its confirmation at Quebec-the War Department yielded to some departures from QUADRANT decisions and estimates on deployment of U.S. forces to the Mediterranean.83 Aside from agreeing to the temporary retention of landing ships in the western Mediterranean, the War Department also approved General Eisenhower's urgent request for two additional U.S. infantry divisions. These reinforcements, he felt, would promote the success of the later operation in northwest Europe. The two divisions (the 85th and the 88th), which the War Department agreed to deploy before 1 January 1944, were intended to help offset the loss of the three British and four U.S. veteran divisions that were to be sent from the Mediterranean to the United Kingdom for OVERLORD in accordance with TRIDENT arid QUADRANT decisions. 84  

The intertheater shift of the four U.S. divisions (1st and 9th Infantry, 2d Armored, and 82d Airborne) was scheduled to be completed before the close of the year. It began with the transfer of the 1st Infantry Division in early November 1943.85
The War Department also deviated from QUADRANT estimates in backing the dispatch of additional air groups to the Mediterranean for the build-up of the U.S. Fifteenth Air Force. This new strategic air force-proposed by General Arnold in the early fall of 1943 and supported by General Marshall-was to capitalize on the air bases that would become available in Italy and thereby complement the Combined Bomber Offensive from the United Kingdom. Arguing against a tendency to employ heavy bombers locally, Marshall particularly stressed the importance of arranging for the movement of four-engine bombers from one theater to another as necessary. In the AAF plan, the buildup of the Fifteenth Air Force was to be based partly on units from the Twelfth Air Force then in the Mediterranean and partly on air groups in the United States then scheduled for the build-up of the Eighth Air Force in the United Kingdom. In October the JCS and CCS approved the AAF proposal and the Fifteenth Air Force was established, effective 1 November 1943.86
The War Department and the AAF thereupon began to carry out the plan for building up the Fifteenth Air Force. The new force was to consist of twenty-one heavy bombardment groups, seven long-range fighter groups, and one reconnaissance group and was to reach full strength by the end of March 1944. The initial strength and equipment of the Fifteenth were to be derived from the Twelfth Air Force. AAF headquarters had planned to divert three B-24 groups from allotments to the United Kingdom for shipment to the Mediterranean in each of the three months from November through January 1944. The first of the three groups did not, however, reach the theater until mid-December 1943. In addition, the War Department authorized the constitution and activation by the end of January 1944 of four heavy 

bombardment wings, two air depot groups, and three air service groups.87
With these exceptions-designed directly or indirectly to aid OVERLORD the War Department continued its policy of holding the line for the build-up in the United Kingdom. In early November it resisted such suggestions as the British proposal to retain one armored and one airborne division in the Mediterranean and AFHQ's bid for additional divisions.88
Thus the Washington staffs labored in the fall of 1943 to keep OVERLORD "top of the bill" and to balance Allied resources in the European-Mediterranean area in accordance with QUADRANT decisions. Though British proposals for new Mediterranean undertakings and for added support to agreed-upon undertakings in the Mediterranean had on the whole thus far been successfully countered, there was no assurance that increased pressure for such ventures would riot result in upsetting the over-all strategic pattern agreed upon at Quebec. Washington's concern for maintenance of the integrity of the QUADRANT pattern became all the greater, therefore, in the late fall of 1943, in the face of divergent British and American proposals for command arrangements in the war against Germany.


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