Chapter II: 
Advance in the Mediterranean: January-May 1943
The Casablanca Conference left open the question of what would be done after HUSKY. With the battle for Tunisia yet to be won and the Sicilian invasion projected for July, operations in the Mediterranean would continue to lay heavy claims on the resources of the Western partners. What was to be the extent of the Mediterranean advance? At what point in geography and time would operations that General Marshall and the Army planners regarded as "subsidiary" have to be stopped in order to undertake a major cross-Channel operation?
Critical Shortages and the Battle of the Atlantic
The Shipping Crisis
In the early months of 1943 all roads led the military planners to the shipping bottleneck. The demands of the Mediterranean campaigns bled Atlantic shipping. HUSKY reinforced Mediterranean claims for escorts and transports and made necessary a search for combat loaders and landing craft-all in short supply. At the same time, the U-boat menace in the Atlantic made a tight situation even tighter.
The CCS and their planners had recognized at Casablanca that shipping would be "the controlling factor" during the coming year. The imbalance between personnel and cargo shipping and the shortage of escort vessels affected all strategic calculations. Only two transports, Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth, were fast enough to cross oceans without escort. The solution to the problem was partly one of increasing production, partly one of reducing destruction. With the defeat of the U-boat accepted as a first charge upon British-American resources, the CCS had approved a program to lessen losses by enemy submarine action. It envisaged a bombing offensive against the submarine pens and facilities and defensive measures such as using more escort vessels, escort carriers, and long-range, shore-based air cover for convoys as soon as they became available. The gravity of the situation compelled the Combined Chiefs to admit that security of sea communications would in all likelihood not improve before late summer, when adequate escort vessels would be on hand for convoy duty. 1

In view of the high Allied shipping losses in 1942 there was real cause for alarm. The losses up to the end of 1942 had exceeded new construction by well over one million tons. During the year, enemy submarines had sunk 1,027 ships, totaling over 5,700,000 gross tons, in the Atlantic.2 Without control of the seas, the New World might be cut off from the Old and U.S. military strength and resources might have no appreciable effect on the overseas theaters of war. During the winter of 1942-43 the heavy gales and storms in the North Atlantic curtailed losses somewhat, but when the weather broke in March 1943, the U-boats, operating in wolf packs, sank over 500,000 gross tons of shipping, mainly from convoys along the North Atlantic route.3
Thereafter, the U-boat menace, while still serious, steadily became less important. The estimated loss rates accepted at Casablanca actually proved to be pessimistic for the period from January through June. The significant fact that the associated powers were able to add over two million gross tons of shipping to their fleets during the same time, in spite of submarine losses, indicated clearly that the U-boats were waging a losing battle.4 Nevertheless, the submarine threat prevented the optimum use of available shipping by forcing vessels to sail in convoys or on longer, less dangerous routes. The total turnaround time for ships on short runs was often increased by as much as one fourth because the ships had to wait for convoys and hold their speeds to that of the slowest in the convoy.5
In March, when the U-boats were taking their heaviest toll, the Americans and British were compelled once again to stop convoys to the USSR over the northern routes.6  The pressure of preparations for the Sicilian operation upon shipping, coupled with the dangers posed by German naval and air concentrations along the northern route, forced the cancellation of the convoys. To offset Stalin's disappointment, Churchill and Roosevelt promised in the early spring of 1943 to do their best to increase shipments via the Persian Gulf and Vladivostok. By June, recurrent crises on the northern route and the failure of the Persian Gulf route, even under American development, to live up to expectations, led to the transfer of fifty-three cargo ships and six tankers in the Pacific to Soviet registry.7

Added strain was also put on the fulfillment of the British import program for civilian requirements. The inroads made by Axis submarines upon the British merchant fleet and British inability to replace their losses had been forcing the United Kingdom to rely more and more heavily upon U.S. shipping. In November 1942 the President had accepted the goal of 27,000,000 tons of imports for 1943 and had agreed to make up for the British the mounting deficiencies in tonnage. But the changing military situation during the early part of 1943 created additional shipping demands upon the United States, and the import commitment was often relegated to a secondary place.
No definite arrangements on the amount or character of this aid had been made at Casablanca. The intense submarine effort of March and the fact that U.S. bottoms carried only 366,000 tons of imports to the United Kingdom during the first quarter aroused the British to the seriousness of the situation. In March the British Chiefs delivered requests to the JCS for sufficient-shipping to carry 1,800,000 tons of imports during the first half of 1943, as well as for shipping aid in the Mediterranean, Indian Ocean, and Pacific areas. The justification for the import assistance was based upon the Presidential commitment of November and the need for supplementary help to complete the strategic program set forth at Casablanca. The British stated they would not be able to provide any shipping for BOLERO.8  In the opinion of Maj. Gen. Charles P. Gross, Army Chief of Transportation, to fulfill the British request for import aid would mean that 225,000 U.S. troops would not be moved overseas. If the operational aid were also approved, it would cost another 375,000 troops and reduce the overseas lift figure from 1,400,000 to 800,000 for the year.9
The CCS were not allowed to consider the problem, for the President established a special board headed by Harry Hopkins to study it. The CCS did, however, present to the Hopkins Board their priority list for present and future operations. Four categories were set forth: (I) HUSKY, (2) SICKLE (build-up for the bomber offensive against Germany) and South Pacific, (3) ANAKIM, and (4) BOLERO. The CCS also agreed that the minimum fixed charges on British-American shipping for the United Kingdom and the USSR should be met.10
The chief difficulty in meeting the import demands would come during the second quarter, when shipping would be at a premium.11 The Army was faced with pressing demands not only for the Atlantic and Mediterranean but also for operations in the Pacific aimed at Rabaul.12 Resolving the problem of the relative importance of British civilian and Allied military requirements appeared quite simple to the Army. General Somervell and General Handy, Assistant Chief of Staff, Operations Division (OPD), advised Marshall that cuts should be made in nonmilitary programs if Casablanca plans were to be carried

out.13 Both Marshall and King felt that it was the duty of the JCS to spell out the necessary reduction in the import program.14
The President did not accept the views of his military advisers. He accepted instead the counsels of Hopkins and Lewis Douglas, War Shipping Administration (WSA) Administrator, and promised the British 7,000,000 tons of assistance during 1943. In spite of the hard fact that a large part of this aid was to be given during the critical second quarter, the goal came very close to being attained by the end of June. Of the 12,000,000 tons to be carried in British and U.S. bottoms planned for by the British, 11,700,000 were carried. Provision was made also for British operational requests, and sixty-one sailings were set up to fill British needs in the Mediterranean and Indian Ocean areas.15
The President had assessed the situation more accurately than his military advisers, since the decline in submarine sinkings and the rise in merchant construction had allowed the merchant fleet to carry more than indicated in the early estimates. When the first through Mediterranean convoy since 1941 sailed via Gibraltar to Alexandria in May, the prospect of saving some two million tons of shipping for productive employment elsewhere by using this shorter route further brightened the over-all picture.16
The rosy hue was reflected by Leahy when he wrote to Donald Nelson in April 1943: "In spite of all losses, our shipping of both men and materials overseas is on schedule as planned. It does not appear that shipping will limit our requirements in 1944."17  This sanguine statement was only partially justified. The total of 486,844 U.S. troops sent overseas to the four main operational theaters during the first half of 1943 was somewhat less than the planned total of 527,200 set forth at Casablanca. Deployment for the North Africa-HUSKY operations had been expanded from the planned increment of 184,000 to 282,385. The South-Southwest Pacific had received 121,581-well over the planned increment of 78,200. That these additions were at the expense of BOLERO is clear. The total of 250,000 men projected for shipment to the United Kingdom had dwindled to 65,830, or approximately 26 percent of the planned figure.18
The low priority accorded BOLERO led Army planners to estimate that only six divisions would be on hand in the United Kingdom by the end of 1943 and forced the senior joint planners the joint Strategic Survey Committee to reject BOLERO, even as modified by the Casablanca agreement, as impossible

of attainment.19 Since available shipping could not supply the additional troops required for the active theaters and still effect the necessary build-up in the United Kingdom, it became obvious that an invasion of the Continent in force during 1943 would not be feasible. Shipping rather than troops limited grand strategy at this juncture. Although conditions would improve steadily during the remainder of the year, it would be impossible to amass sufficient troops and equipment in the British Isles in time to take advantage of the good weather period for a 1943 cross-Channel attack.
Deficiencies in aircraft, secondary only to those in ships, were underscored by the Battle of the Atlantic. The AAF interpreted the agreement at Casablanca to conduct "the heaviest possible bomber offensive against the German war effort" to mean that all production of heavy bombers, other than those specifically required in other theaters, would be assigned to the United Kingdom.20 Heavy-bomber deliveries had been expanded from 2,576 in 1942, or 6 percent of all aircraft, to 9,393 in 1943, or 14 percent, but supply still failed to meet demand.21 It followed logically that, while this condition prevailed, any increased allocation for another theater would automatically mean a corresponding decrease in the buildup for the bomber offensive against Germany (SICKLE). The procedure would be similar to "robbing Peter to pay Paul," with SICKLE constantly doubling for Peter.
The first diversion followed close on the heels of the Casablanca Conference, when Arnold informed Chiang Kai-shek that , a heavy bombardment group was being assigned to the Tenth Air Force for operations in China.22 In March two B-17 groups were diverted to the Twelfth Air Force in North Africa to meet the growing needs of the theater, and one B-24 group was scheduled for SWPA for the third quarter of 1943 as a result of the Pacific conference held in Washington.23 These reallocations were in line with the various troop diversions and in accord with the low priority given SICKLE until mid-March. In the light of the slow expansion of air force ground troops resulting from the shortage of transports and the added fact that BOLERO ship losses were not being replaced, the status of the U.S. bomber offensive was not only discouraging but even alarming.24

The heavy shipping losses of March worried the President and caused him to inquire about using B-24's based on Newfoundland, Greenland, and Iceland and escort carriers in the North Atlantic against the U-boat. Marshall and King informed him that eighty B-24's would be operating from these bases by 1 June. This number would be bolstered by some B-24's of the AAF Anti-Submarine Command and by twelve B-17's that were being sent to Newfoundland. The lone escort carrier on the North Atlantic run would be joined by two more in April. The British also intended to add a total of four escort carriers to the North Atlantic and northern Soviet convoy routes.25
To help meet the critical situation, the CCS decided to provide 255 long-range planes for antisubmarine work in the North Atlantic by 1 July, seventy-five to be supplied by the U.S. Army.26 The British also desired to augment the air effort against the U-boats in the Bay of Biscay, but this occasioned strong protests from Lt. Gen. Frank M. Andrews -who on 5 February had succeeded General Eisenhower as Commanding General, European Theater of Operations-against any further diversion from his already overworked bomber forces. He argued that the use of 160 additional bombers for that task would adversely affect HUSKY and give only a small return in view of the number of planes employed. His stand was supported by the Air Forces and the JCS.27
Thus, during the early 1943 period, not only did the submarines sink Allied ships and supplies, thereby restricting the growth of Allied strength, but they also forced scarce bombers into antisubmarine warfare. Search and attack aircraft were employed for convoy protection and patrols rather than for bombing Germany's war effort. British bombers devoted 30 percent of their bomb tonnage and U.S. bombers 63 percent of theirs during the first six months of 1943 to largely unsuccessful attacks upon the submarine pens and facilities along the French coast.28
Like the indirect effects of the submarines upon the shipping situation, the intangible results of the aircraft diversions to the antisubmarine war were far reaching. For example, the battle with the submarines brought to a head a conflict between the American services on the use and control of long-range aircraft. The crux of the matter lay in the different concepts of antisubmarine warfare held. by the Army and Navy. The Navy assigned long-range planes to frontier commands, fleets, and task forces as integral, fixed parts of the command. The Army, on the other hand, visualized the creation of a mobile striking force, set up as a theater command, operating directly under the JCS. The striking force would be shifted to meet the requirements of the situation and could nullify the mobile advantage of the U-boats. The force would be a defensive weapon; it could also become an offen-

sive "hunt and kill" unit, seeking out and destroying submarines wherever and whenever they could be located.29 The differences between the Navy fixed-force procedure and the Army concept of a mobile striking force proved to be insoluble and at one point the President intimated that he would settle the matter himself. He told Lt. Gen. Joseph T. McNarney, Army Deputy Chief of Staff: "Show me a map and I can easily make a decision"-a statement reminiscent of his earlier solution of the controversy over the Army-Navy boundaries in the Panama-Caribbean area.30
In an attempt to break this impasse, the Army offered to turn over all of its antisubmarine activities to the Navy in return for recognition by the latter that all long-range striking forces (strategic air forces) were properly the responsibility of the Army.31 To overcome the Navy's doubts about accepting this quid pro quo, Marshall argued that the present use of long-range aircraft was uneconomical and inefficient and would be condemned by the public if the facts were known. He went on to say, ". . . we must put our own house in order, and quickly, in order to justify our obligation to the country." Furthermore, he warned King that Secretary Stimson would take the problem to the President unless the Army conditions attached to the transfer of aircraft were accepted.32 Reluctantly King informed Marshall of Navy concurrence, although he still believed that the question of strategic air forces belonged more properly to the future.33
Thus, the indirect as well as the direct influence of the German submarine warfare during this era was far reaching. Merchant shipping, escort vessels, and long-range aircraft, all in short supply and in the No.1 priority production group, were directly concerned. The need for escort vessels hindered the construction of cargo shipping and of offensive naval vessels; the shortage of shipping prevented the completion of Allied

plans and programs in the Atlantic; and the diversion of bombers to the defensive task of stopping U-boats delayed the process of softening up Germany. Although none of these effects altered the final outcome, they did inject added elements of delay.
Windup of the African Campaign
While the Battle of the Atlantic posed a serious but declining threat to British and American plans, programs, and resources, the continuing drain of U.S. military strength and resources to the Mediterranean in the first half of 1943 confirmed the worst fears of the Army planners. Early British and American hopes for a quick victory in North Africa had been disappointed. After the successful landings on the African coast in November 1942, the swift Allied dash toward Tunisia had bogged down- stalled by heavy rains, mud, the poor and slender lines of overland transportation, inadequate airfields, shortages of gasoline, and enemy resistance. By the turn of the year a temporary stalemate was in effect on the Tunisian front. In the early weeks of 1943 the British, Americans, and Germans concentrated on building up strength for the final contest for Tunisia. The Germans took advantage of the short air and sea lines of communication between Sicily and Tunisia to effect a rapid build-up of heavy reinforcements. The Allies, whose advance units had outrun their main supply lines and bases, were faced with the dismal fact that the nearest ports of entry available to them-Bone and Philippeville- had only limited capacity.
In February General Field Marshall Erwin Rommel's Afrika Korps, which had been closely pressed in its retreat through Libya and Tripolitania by the British driving from the east, established itself on the Mareth Line in southeast Tunisia. The widely dispersed and thinly held positions of the long Allied line permitted the enemy to launch his final offensive thrusts. In mid-February the enemy struck westward from Faid Pass and broke through the Kasserine Pass. When forced to withdraw, he struck at the Medjez-el-Bab area.
These successes proved ephemeral. A series of developments on the Allied side sealed the enemy's fate. When the British Eighth Army arrived at the Mareth-Line, Allied forces were reorganized, and new command arrangements for a great offensive were put into effect. General Alexander became General Eisenhower's deputy and was given direct charge of the 18 Army Group, composed of the British First Army, the British Eighth Army, the United States II Corps, and the French units on the Tunisian front. A Mediterranean Air Command was set up under Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur W. Tedder, with Maj. Gen. Carl A. Spaatz (USA) as Commander, Northwest African Air Force. Admiral Sir Andrew B. Cunningham became Naval Commander in Chief, Mediterranean. The rains let up, the roads were improved, the railroad was modernized with American methods and equipment, and gasoline pipelines were built and extended to the front. As a result, a greater number of Allied troops could be moved to the front and maintained there.
The last phase of the Tunisia Campaign began on 20 March. Allied naval

and air forces took a heavy toll of German air and sea transport moving across the Strait of Sicily. The Allies broke through the Mareth Line. The German and Italian forces under General Oberst Juergen von Arnim, hemmed in at the tip of northern Tunisia, fought desperately, but in the end had to yield. The British captured Tunis on 7 May, and on the same day U.S. patrols drove into Bizerte. On the 13th, all organized enemy resistance came to an end in North Africa, and the Allies were in full command of the southern littoral of the Mediterranean.34
Build-up in North Africa
The windup of the African campaign required far heavier outlays of forces than originally envisaged in planning for TORCH. More service, ground combat, and air troops had to be used. From the beginning, U.S. service troops had been in very short supply. In March, after attempts to make use of native Arab labor had proved unsatisfactory, U.S. service troops began to arrive in substantial numbers.35 More combat strength was required-as General Eisenhower had stressed to the War Department-both for garrison forces in Morocco to guard against the danger of a German thrust against the Allied forces via Spain, and for the final campaign in Tunisia.36 Air units and replacements of all types-fighter, bomber, and observation-were urgently called for.37 The prospective HUSKY operation imposed additional claims for forces.
The War Department sought to balance and fulfill the needs of General Eisenhower for both campaigns.38 In the process, General Marshall and his staff strove to eliminate the confusion, haste, and waste-and the volume of communications between Washington and the theater headquarters-that had accompanied the mounting of TORCH in late 1942. Procedures between the zone of interior and the overseas command for loading convoys and controlling the dispatch of units and replacements were improved and standardized.39 Despite efforts to put deployment on an orderly basis, shipping problems-including transport and escort shortages and limited port capacity-continued to complicate the dispatch of troops to North Africa. In February, General

Eisenhower informed the Chief of Staff that the personnel shipping capacity scheduled for convoys to North Africa until June was inadequate to fulfill the needs for the Tunisia Campaign and to bring in the additional combat and service troops required for HUSKY. As a result, he had to "cannibalize" the 3d Division, which was earmarked for HUSKY.40
Despite the efforts of the War Department to limit deployment for Mediterranean ventures, it began to be evident soon after Casablanca that it would be as difficult to limit forces for HUSKY as it was to limit forces for the conclusion of the North African campaign. Soon after the decision to undertake HUSKY, Brig. Gen. Albert C. Wedemeyer, chief Army planner, wrote to General Handy from Casablanca that the United States should try to carry out the Sicilian operation with as many of the available U.S. forces in North Africa as could be released without risking the security of the North African area.41 This remained a fundamental War Department aim to the close of HUSKY. Nevertheless, the Army soon found that, in order to meet the peculiar needs for the amphibious and airborne undertakings projected for Husky, additional troops would have to be sent. The War Department made preparations in the early months of 1943 to dispatch the 82d Airborne Division and the combat-loaded 45th Division from the United States.42
The increasing numbers of U.S. ground, air, and service troops deployed in North Africa between the close of 1942 and the end of the Tunisia Campaign in May 1943 gave striking evidence of the trend toward the Mediterranean. In the latter part of December 1942, according to War Department planners' estimates, there were close to 180,000 U.S. troops in North Africa-including approximately 141,000 Army Ground Forces (AGF) troops, 39,800 AAF troops, and only slightly more than 2,500 Services of Supply (SOS) troops.43 When the Tunisia Campaign entered the mop-up stage at the end of the first week in May, U.S. troop strength had increased, the planners estimated, to approximately 388,000-including over 220,500 AGF troops, about 76,850 AAF troops, and almost 90,500 Army Service Forces (ASF) troops.44 Present in the North African theater at the end of December 1942 were the 1st and 2d Armored Divisions and the 1st, 3d, 9th, and 34th Infantry Divisions. In April 1943 the 36th Infantry Division arrived

in North Africa, followed by the 82d Airborne in May, and the 45th Infantry Division in June.45 The trend in deployment of U.S. air forces to the Mediterranean was also upward, rising from twenty-four and one half combat air groups at the end of December 1942 to about thirty-seven as of 1 June 1943 The thirty-seven groups included 6 groups on loan from Maj. Gen. Lewis H. Brereton's Ninth Air Force based in the Middle East.46
Diversion from BOLERO and SICKLE
In order to maintain the forces in North Africa, larger and larger outlays of munitions, equipment, and supplies of all types had to be made. Thus, not only shipping and aircraft but also quantities of other items were diverted from the support of the American buildup in the United Kingdom. While the number of U.S. troops in North Africa steadily increased between November 1942 and May 1943, the number in the European command dropped-from a high of 220,000 at the end of October 1942 to about 119,000 at the turn of the year. At the end of April 1943 it was down to 115,000, though in May it rose to 131,000.47 Much of the strength originally scheduled in' the United States for BOLERO or present in the United Kingdom was drained off for the Mediterranean operations. According to the Army planner's calculations, ground strength declined from approximately 168,000 in the British Isles and Northern Ireland, just before the launching of TORCH in November 1942, to about 59,000 by the end of March 1943, at which level it hovered to the end of the Tunisia Campaign in early May.48
Though Casablanca had cleared the way for full U.S. participation in a heavy combined bomber offensive, the strength in units, replacements, and effective aircraft had not increased as rapidly as had been hoped. The estimated number of air troops in the British Isles and Northern Ireland at the end of the Tunisia Campaign-66,000-was only slightly higher than that present just before the launching of TORCH-58,000. For most of the period between January and May it was below the 58,000 level. During the first three months of 1943 the average combat strength of the Eighth Air Force sank lower than at any time since October 1942. Not until March could a force of more than 100 bombers be put into the air with some regularity. The total effective bombing strength up to the end of April was six operating groups (four B-17 and two B-24). By May only three fighter groups-equipped

with P-47's-were available to escort bombers regularly. The crew replacement problem was particularly acute. During the winter months the demands for TORCH had been especially heavy, and combat crews in the United Kingdom, forced to operate without adequate replacements, began to suffer from weariness and tension as well as from combat losses. The direct drain to Africa combined with the other factors-the antisubmarine warfare, lack of available shipping, and diversions to the CBI and Southwest Pacific-to slow the rate of build-up of the Eighth Air Force. In March the War Department asked General Eisenhower to keep his shipping requirements for North Africa at a minimum, since every additional ship provided for his theater was a "direct drain" on the bomber offensive from the United Kingdom.49  From January to May 1943, Eighth Air Force operations over Germany continued to be largely experimental, and the Combined Bomber Offensive remained essentially in the planning stage.50
Rearming the French
To the heavy claims on U.S. military resources growing out of the Mediterranean campaigns in the months following Casablanca was added another-the rearmament of the French in North Africa. The participation of the French in the North African campaign, the rapprochement between Generals Giraud and de Gaulle brought about by President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill at the time of Casablanca, and the hope and desire of the French to take part in the eventual liberation of their motherland raised a unique problem in coalition warfare for the U.S. military planners-rearming a whole foreign army.51  On the eve of the Chief of Staff's departure for Casablanca, the Army planners had pointed out that re-equipping the French troops to make an effective contribution to the Allied cause was an urgent question for British and American consideration. 52 At Casablanca General Marshall urged the necessity of equipping the best French divisions in North Africa as rapidly as possible.53 He expressed the belief of the JCS that the use of these divisions would result in a considerable economy in other Allied forces. Marshall and Sir Alan Brooke agreed that French troops in North Africa would be particularly useful for garrison work, freeing British and U.S. forces for combat. At the same time, General Marshall and his advisers realized that equipping a whole new French army was a complicated issue. Repercussions would inevitably be felt in British and U.S. production, training, and equipment programs. The coalition of associated powers would have to agree on a strategic concept for the eventual

employment of the new army. Finally, thorny political questions involving the future French government would have to be resolved.54 Nevertheless, General Marshall believed it necessary to at least begin the task. He therefore proposed at Casablanca to furnish equipment from U.S. resources, insofar as shipping limitations permitted, and to train the French troops in its use.
The President agreed with Marshall's views.55 When General Giraud estimated that there were enough French officers and noncommissioned officers in North Africa to raise an army Of 250,000, the President took the position that the French leader should be instructed to go ahead and that the British and Americans should make every effort to provide the necessary equipment. General Marshall stated he was prepared to accept the inevitable delay in equipping U.S. forces then forming in the United States in order to equip a French army of 250,000 men. He assured General Giraud that it was in the interests of the United States to bring the French forces to a high degree of efficiency. The question was not whether to equip the French Army but rather how to carry out the program in the face of the limiting factor in all Allied undertakings-the shortage of shipping. On behalf of the British Chiefs of Staff, Sir Alan Brooke promised that, though the British had more limited resources at their disposal than the United States, they would do what they could to help provide modern equipment for the French forces. It was obvious that the United States would have to bear most of the costs.
The upshot of the negotiations at Casablanca was an Allied understanding that a program to equip the French Army should be started immediately.56
The President and General Marshall accepted the principle of rearming the French in North Africa, with the U.S. target for re-equipping of eleven divisions as quickly as possible. 57 No agreement was reached on a strategic concept for the subsequent employment of the French army. A rearmament committee composed of British, American, and French representatives was promptly established in the theater, and a French officer was sent to Washington to act as liaison between that committee and the War Department. In Washington machinery was put into motion by the War Department to speed equipment to the French.
In the weeks following Casablanca it became clear that U.S. and French military officials- did not see eye to eye on what had been agreed upon at the conference. Maj. Gen. Marie Emile Bethouart, chief of the French military mission in Washington; brought the problem to General Marshall's attention in early February.58 He pointed out that, according to General Giraud's version of

his understanding with the President, an agreement had been reached to deliver material for three armored divisions, eight motorized divisions, and a first-line air force of 500 pursuit planes, 300 bombers, and 200 transport planes by summer; and that substantial amounts- 400 trucks, and enough armament for two armored regiments, three reconnaissance battalions, three tank destroyer battalions, and three motorized divisions -were to be delivered within the next few weeks. General Marshall, who had left the conference before the conclusion of the President's agreement with General Giraud, understood the President had simply promised that the United States would proceed to equip the French troops as quickly as possible, and that such problems as cargo space, types of equipment, and priorities of shipment would be settled later.
Actually this difference of views appears to have been the result of divergent interpretations of the President's marginal note written in French-"Oui en principe"-next to the specific commitments in the agreement with General Giraud. Marcel Vigneras has pointed out that the French interpretation of this phrase suggested a far firmer commitment than the American "yes, in principle" that the President undoubtedly intended.59 This is an interesting example of semantic differences out of which rose misunderstandings among nations associated in waging a coalition war. In fact, the phrase "in principle" -translated or interpreted differently by British, Americans, French, and Russians -was the source of a number of such Allied misunderstandings in World War II.
While Marshall felt that tanks should be provided for separate tank battalions, he did not believe that equipping three armored divisions was then either practicable or desirable. The whole question of assembling armored divisions in North Africa-British, American, or French-would have to be considered in relation to subsequent strategy. He did believe that the United States should send armament for one armored division -especially since, as he had informed General Giraud, the equipment was available in the United States but the personnel was not ready for it. He assured Bethouart of the Army's confidence in French officers' talent and the rapidity with which French units could be made effective for combat. It was on that basis that the War Department leaders had concluded that the United States was justified in delaying the organization of U.S. divisions at home in favor of equipping French divisions overseas.60
The French remained dissatisfied with the current allocation of 25,000 tons per convoy for the French rearmament set by General Eisenhower for the convoys coming to North Africa. According to the War Department policy the decision had to rest with General Eisenhower, since providing shipping for the French might interfere with the campaign needs of the British and U.S. troops. General Eisenhower warned the War Department that a critical situation was developing in the relations with the French

in North Africa. At the same time, the uneasiness of the French over U.S. intentions was brought to the attention of the President and the Secretary of State by Mr. Robert D. Murphy in communications from North Africa. On 20 February the President sought to quiet French fears that the United States was not living up to its promises and to set the record straight on the U.S. agreement at Casablanca. He informed Mr. Murphy:
You can tell them [the French in North Africa] that at no time did I or General Marshall promise equipment for the French divisions at any given date. What was agreed on was the principle of rearming them-to be done as soon as we found it practicable from a shipping point of view.
Mr. Murphy was at liberty to tell the French that the President was receiving the same cries for help from USSR, from the British for supplies for England and for Burma, from China, and from several South American states as well. The President was going ahead with French rearmament as quickly as he could "get it over"; meanwhile, the President advised, the French must remain "calm and sensible."61
Within the limits of shipping and equipment available, the War Department proceeded to fill the requests for equipment for the French-as made by General Giraud through General Eisenhower. General Eisenhower felt strongly that no equipment be sent to the French at the sacrifice of British and American strength for current and subsequent operations in the Mediterranean.62 This policy the War Department put into effect. By early March it was engaged in equipping three French divisions along the Spanish Moroccan frontier in order to counter a possible German thrust through Spain and to compensate for withdrawals from Lt. Gen. George S. Patton, Jr.'s forces for replacements for the Tunisian front.
Down to the close of the North African campaign, the controlling factor in French rearmament-as in all undertakings-continued to be the question of shipping. General Eisenhower felt that if additional shipping over and above the 25,000 tons per convoy that he had allotted for French rearmament were made available, it would have to be furnished by the War Department Army Service Forces maintained that no additional shipping space could be provided from shipping allocated to the U.S. Army until after General Eisenhower's current and projected requirements were met. The Army planners concluded, therefore, that it would probably be possible to allocate additional space only when substantial amounts of French shipping were turned over to the associated powers' pool and placed in convoy service.63 By the close of the North African campaign three and one-half divisions had been equipped, or were in process of being equipped-one armored, two and one-half infantry divisions, and sundry other units. A start had also been made in building a French air force. The British had provided airplanes for one French squadron and the

Americans had equipped another. Still unsolved were the precise timing and scale of French rearmament and the related strategic question of the subsequent role of the French Army. These problems would have to be decided on high military and political levels. It was increasingly apparent to the U.S. staff planners, however, that the campaigns that had brought French North Africa within the Allied orbit and led to the rebirth of the French Army also had added a new and large claimant for U.S. military resources.64
Commitments to the Middle East
Of equal concern to the Washington high command during the wind-up of the African campaign were the mounting U.S. commitments to the Middle East. The events of 1942 and early 1943 forced successive modifications of the Army's policy toward that area of British strategic responsibility. By the close of 1942 there were 30,000 American troops present or en route to the Middle East-primarily service and air troops-with many more scheduled to go. The allocations continued to grow, amounting by the close of the Tunisia Campaign to about twice that number present or en route.65 The increased Middle East commitments reflected in large measure the increased air activities of U.S. forces in the Mediterranean. They also reflected the greater need for service units to operate and maintain the Persian Gulf supply route for Soviet aid shipments.
The British and Americans, from early in the war, had feared that German forces would drive through Turkey and into the Middle East, thereby blocking an important supply route to the USSR, cutting off the flow of oil from the Middle East, attacking the USSR in the Caucasus, and possibly pushing on to form a juncture with Japanese forces. U.S. planners had long recognized the necessity of insuring the security of the Middle East-a strategic bridge between East and West in the global struggle. But by the turn of the year it appeared that the progress of the Allied campaigns in North Africa and on the Eastern Front had eliminated the immediate threat to the Middle East and greatly strengthened the Allied position there.66 The United States could therefore properly plan for the withdrawal of the forces sent to help the British during the crisis of 1942. That action would have the advantages of simplifying British control of operations in their sphere of primary interest and of providing U.S. forces for potentially more decisive operations elsewhere. The planners were well aware that, unless U.S. forces in the Middle East were reduced in operational strength, their presence might itself become an argument for further Mediterranean operations and thereby jeopardize concentration for a major cross-Channel operation.
The Army had other reasons for its reluctance to become involved in active operations in the Middle East. These

found expression in the report of Lt. Col. DeVere P. Armstrong of the Strategy Section, OPD, submitted to the War Department in early January 1943, shortly after Armstrong's return from an extended visit to the Middle East. He emphasized that upon the defeat of the Axis forces in North Africa, the Middle East would probably become a region for the strategic defensive. In his opinion the British, who were deeply involved in the Middle East-in a political and economic as well as a military sense-would have sufficient forces in the area to defend it. He stated:
. . there is no doubt in my mind but that the British war effort in the Middle East is tempered with conscious political and economic thoughts for the future. With the possible exception of Persia, however, I do not believe that this attitude is causing the Allied war effort in the Middle East to suffer.
He feared lest increased U.S. military activity in the Middle East involve the United States in the complex political crosscurrents of that troubled area. The time had therefore come for the United States to "avoid further commitments in the Middle East" and to begin to think of withdrawing its combat forces from the area. At the same time he foresaw that the Persian Gulf Service Command (PGSC), through which the United States was funneling supplies to the USSR, would soon become the major U.S. effort in the Middle East. That effort, he emphasized, was most important not only because of the military significance of the aid extended but also because the prestige of the United States as an ally was at stake.67
In the strategic discussions at Casablanca, the Middle East had figured only as a side issue to the basic question of cross-Channel versus Mediterranean operations. In their arguments in favor of the Mediterranean after the conclusion of the African campaign, the British spokesmen proposed operations against the Dodecanese Islands as one possible operation.68 As noted above, General Marshall and the rest of the JCS, intent upon a cross-Channel operation, were willing to settle only for a western Mediterranean operation.69 General Marshall and his colleagues felt anxious lest Mediterranean operations, and especially operations in the east Mediterranean, draw off strength from concentration for an eventual cross-Channel operation and probably prevent the United States from undertaking operations in Burma and the Pacific. Back of the anxiety of the U.S. military planners lay their even greater concern over possible involvement in costly diversionary operations in the Balkans. As a result, the U.S. Joint Chiefs at Casablanca played down the potential role of the Middle East in operations immediately following the North African, campaign other than possibly to support an undertaking in the western Mediterranean. The compromise agreement on an operation against Sicily affected the Middle East only insofar as the latter region was accepted as one of several possible springboards for executing the

HUSKY operation.70 Decisions on eastern Mediterranean moves-and on the role of the Middle East in them-were held in abeyance.
In early March the War Department announced a policy looking to the curtailment of U.S. Army activities in the Middle East. Service troops and facilities to expedite the flow and maintenance of lend-lease supplies for British forces in the Middle East were to be reduced.71 In early April, however, the War Department informed General Brereton, then Commanding General, U.S. Army Forces in the Middle East, that the service installations were not to be closed down abruptly but were to be turned over gradually to the British.72 Because of the extreme shortage of British specialists, the U.S. troops were not expected to be released until well after the conclusion of HUSKY. War Department plans in the early spring allowed for the dispatch to the Middle East only of service units whose primary purpose was to support the U.S. Ninth Air Force, then engaged in the Tunisia Campaign.73 Army planners were opposed to the retention of U.S. air units as a static garrison in the Middle East after the campaign. But, on the assumption that lend-lease aid to the USSR would remain a primary commitment of the United States, the strength of the Persian Gulf Service Command, they reasoned, should not be reduced.
Command Changes: USAFIME, NATO, and ETO
While making plans for curtailment of U.S. Army activities in the Middle East, War Department planners sought to bring command into line with strategy and deployment. Command arrangements for the U.S. Army Forces in the Middle East (USAFIME) were subject to a number of complications. Though the area was recognized by the Americans and the British as one of British strategic responsibility, the U.S. Army forces in it had been given by mutual agreement a unique responsibility for expediting lend-lease to a third ally, the USSR. The growing importance of the Persian Gulf Service Command and the prospective decline of the rest of the Middle East theater as an area of active operations for U.S. forces made necessary a clarification of relationships between the two. U.S. commands in the Middle East region had to deal with delicate problems in an area in which the United Kingdom, the USSR, and local populations-especially in Iran-had peculiar and often varying interests.74 Furthermore, the increasing momentum of Allied operations in the Mediterranean raised the problem of the command relationship of Middle East theater to the rest of the Allied forces in the Mediterranean. It also raised the larger problem of the command relationships in the

whole Middle East-North Africa-Europe area.
Various proposals were weighed. As early as December 1942, General Handy directed his planners to look into the whole question.75 Early in January 1943 a special committee concluded that the entire Mediterranean area-including most of the Middle East region-and western Europe should be incorporated in a single U.S.-U.K. command. The committee emphasized that all regions from which British-American attacks might be launched in executing the primary mission-a major offensive against continental Europe-had to be under a single commander.76 But in view of the many unsettled questions in strategic planning, no action to create an over-all command was taken. General Handy, agreeing that the recommendations of his committee were desirable, sent the whole question back to the planners for further study.77
More important for the immediate future was a series of changes affecting U.S. command relationships that grew out of decisions reached at Casablanca. In mid-January Marshall informed Handy, in a communication dispatched from Casablanca, that the JCS had reached an agreement with Eisenhower during the conference on the subdivision of the current European Theater of operations into two parts, Europe and North Africa.78 The joint Chiefs were also in agreement that General Andrews, the commanding general of USAFIME, be transferred almost immediately to the United Kingdom to assume control of the European part.79 The GCS, the JCS also agreed, should establish priorities for missions for all bombers in the European-Mediterranean area. Marshall asked Handy for recommendations on how to put these agreements into effect.
A War Department draft directive was quickly drawn up and forwarded to Marshall at Casablanca.80 It divided the European-Mediterranean area into the European Theater of Operations, the North African Theater of Operations (NATO), and the Middle East Theater of Operations and outlined the limits of each. Theater boundaries in the European-Mediterranean area were to be ignored in the selection and assignment of objectives for strategic bombing missions for those theaters. The GCS were to determine the strategic objectives and the priorities for such objectives and to direct the shifting of bomber and fighter units between theaters for strategic bombing missions. Strategic

bombing in the Middle East was to be under British command.
General Marshall made use of these Washington recommendations in his discussions with the CCS at Casablanca on the control of strategic bombardment in the European-Mediterranean area.81 War Department leaders who were at Casablanca used them to brief General Andrews on his assignment in the United Kingdom.82 General Marshall and his Washington staff proceeded, at the close of January and in early February 1943, to put into effect the rearrangements of command assignment and boundaries in the European-Mediterranean area.83 When naming Andrews as commanding general of the new European theater, the War Department also announced that General Brereton would become Commanding General, USAFIME.84 Upon Andrews' departure for his new assignment on 31 January 1943 Brereton assumed command of USAFIME.85
The division of the European theater into two parts and the designation of the southern half as the North African Theater of Operations symbolized the increasing importance of the Mediterranean. The separation went into effect on 4 February 1943. General Eisenhower, relieved from the command of the European Theater of Operations, which he had headed since June 1942, assumed command of the North African Theater of Operations. Included in the newly established North African theater were the Iberian Peninsula, Italy, Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica, and a considerable portion of northwest Africa-from the Atlantic coast to the eastern boundary of Tunisia. Shorn of its Mediterranean portions, the ETO comprised Iceland, the British Isles, the Scandinavian countries, France, Germany, and the area extending eastward to the western boundary of the USSR and southward through Hungary and Rumania.86
The decisions made during Casablanca fell. far short of creating a single Anglo-American command in the European-Mediterranean area. Steps were taken, however, to tie the Middle East in with the rest of the Mediterranean for the swift windup of the North African campaign and for HUSKY. In

line with previous recommendations of the Chief of Staff, the United States and United Kingdom agreed to accept Air Chief Marshal Tedder as Air Commander in Chief of the whole Mediterranean theater, under Eisenhower in his capacity as Allied commander.87 Under Air Chief Marshal Tedder were to be the Air Officer Commander in Chief, Northwest Africa (General Spaatz) and the Air Officer Commander in Chief, Middle East (Air Chief Marshal Sir Sholto Douglas). The single air command responsible to Eisenhower was to direct air operations in both the North African and the Middle East theaters to speed the conclusion of the North African campaign. As noted above, the conferees at Casablanca also agreed that, although the British Eighth Army was to continue to be based in the Middle East, it was to be transferred to Eisenhower's command and General Alexander was to become Deputy Commander in Chief to Eisenhower.88
The net result was to provide for a closer knitting of the Allied forces in the Middle East with those in the remainder of the Mediterranean, especially in air and ground commands. These command decisions reinforced the strategic decisions and meant, in effect, that the Middle East forces were increasingly drawn into the Mediterranean orbit and given a supporting role for the windup of operations in the African littoral and for any subsequent moves in the western Mediterranean. Within a month after Casablanca-by 20 February-this new system of Allied operational -command in the Mediterranean was in effect.
Thus, with the relationship between the Mediterranean and the European operations still uncertain, the War Department lent its weight in the first half of 1943 to drawing the Middle East theater into the larger orbit of the Mediterranean command. A unified Allied command in the Mediterranean offered the hope of speeding the end of operations in the western Mediterranean in preparation for an eventual cross-Channel effort and, if tied in with the European theater, of possibly discouraging the British from undertaking diversionary operations in the eastern Mediterranean or the Balkans. In any event, the War Department saw a "clear and present danger" in the current trend to the Mediterranean unless U.S. commitments to the Middle East were scaled down, the Middle East linked to the western Mediterranean, and the whole fitted into some larger strategic pattern against Germany.
The Problem of the Neutrals Spain and Turkey
The trend toward the Mediterranean raised serious questions concerning relations with neutral powers. U.S. staff planners in World War II were faced with a whole series of unique politico-military problems in connection with the status of the neutral countries. Should neutrals be kept neutral? When should a favorably dispersed neutral be converted into an active partner? What methods should be used to induce neutrals to join the coalition? How far

should the Allies go in weaning a neutral power from neutrality? These were some of the questions that inevitably had to be faced. Only gradually in World War II, as in World War I, had the United States shifted from neutrality. In the United States itself the historic significance of the transition from the position of wooed neutral to that of a wooer of neutrals, perhaps not surprisingly, called forth no great introspection on the part of the, busy American political leaders and military planners. Since Allied dealing with neutrals was preeminently in the realm of political negotiations, the course of military planning was subjected to all the vicissitudes and uncertainties of a delicate international diplomacy. While the Allied political leaders here, as in other important strategic issues, in the final analysis called the tune, the military planners were especially intent on pointing out to the Chief of Staff, and through him to the JCS and the President, the cost to major military plans involved in the abandonment of neutrality. Nowhere was this staff role as a military watchdog on national political policy better demonstrated than in the case of Spain and Turkey in 1943.
As the Allied campaign against the Western Axis in late 1942 and through 1943 swept through North Africa and into the Mediterranean, the U.S. political leaders and military staffs kept an anxious eye on the two neutrals-Spain and Turkey-that flanked the Allied forces. Franco's Spain, from the very beginning of its fight with the republican government, had been closely bound to the fascist governments. The fear of Spanish support for a German drive through Spain and Spanish Morocco aimed at cutting the line of Allied communications in the Mediterranean caused anxiety to British-American military planners preparing for TORCH and subsequent Mediterranean operations. It was largely because of this that the Americans had insisted on Casablanca as one of the original landings in TORCH, so as to ensure the use of an Atlantic port in the event the entrance to the Mediterranean were blocked. It was largely for this reason also that the War Department helped General Eisenhower provide and equip substantial garrison forces on the borders of Spanish Morocco to counter any sudden move against the Allied flank. Though the problem of Spanish neutrality concerned the military throughout the conflict, the responsibility for handling it lay with the State Department. The planners watched closely the reactions of Franco's government to State Department efforts to keep Spain from entering the war as am ally of Germany. The continued "neutrality" of Spain, opportunistic though it was, proved to be in part at least a triumph of Anglo-American diplomacy in planning and waging economic warfare.89
Turkey, the uneasy neutral at the other end of the Mediterranean, presented a somewhat different set of complications for the Allies. Allied political negotiations with Turkey throughout 1943 ran the gamut of conciliation,

blandishment, and sternness. An avenue of approach to the Balkan-eastern Mediterranean-Middle East area, Turkey was strategically located to exercise influence-if given adequate help-in a part of the world in which two of the associated powers of the United Nations - the USSR and the United Kingdom had peculiar and special interests of their own. But for two years-1941-42 Turkey's own position had been highly precarious and it walked a tightrope between the warring camps. Axis conquest of the Balkans and Rommel's threat to Egypt exposed Turkey to the danger of being overrun by an Axis drive toward Suez and the Persian Gulf. To strengthen Turkish opposition to Germany, Great Britain, which was bound to Turkey by treaty, and the United States had, during this period, extended limited amounts of munitions to that neutral. Allied bolstering of a favorably disposed Turkey presented the possibility at the outset of 1943, when German lines of communication and the bulk of German combat resources were oriented eastward, of hindering a Drang nach Osten.90 Turkey might thereby become a bulwark ensuring the security of the Allied position in the Middle East. A friendly Turkey might also serve as a springboard for Allied offensive action against the Axis forces in the Balkan-eastern Mediterranean-Middle East area. The improving Allied prospects in the Mediterranean appeared to Churchill to offer a distinctly favorable opportunity to induce Turkey to join the Allies. He had long been interested in bringing Turkey into the war. Especially attractive to him was the possibility that Turkey might play an active role in connection with an Allied "overland" campaign into the Balkans.91 His staff came to Casablanca with an ambitious plan for rearming Turkey and for using its strength and bases in support of operations in the eastern Mediterranean.92 The President also was interested in Turkey's entry apparently, like the Prime Minister, as much to ensure a stable peace in the postwar world as for war purposes.93 The principle of preparing the way for Turkey's active participation was accepted by both the British and the Americans at Casablanca.94 The President and the U.S. high command were content to allow the British to play the direct role in dealing with Turkey-considered to be within the area of British strategic responsibility. Matters connected with Turkey would be handled by the British the same way those con-

nected with China were handled by the United States.95
The Prime Minister welcomed the opportunity to "play the hand" with Turkey-with "munitions or diplomacy." 96 He was especially hopeful, he affirmed to the President, for "a warm renewal of friendship between Russia and Turkey . . . . Thus Turkey while increasing her own defenses would stand between two victorious friends. In all this I am thinking not only of the war, but of the post-war."97 There was a way, under study by the British and U.S. staffs, in which Turkey at war might even help the USSR in the near future. Turkey's bases might be used for air operations against German-controlled resources and transportation facilities in the Balkans. Especially appealing to the British and U.S. political chiefs was the possibility of U.S. bombers attacking the Ploesti oil fields in Rumania. Turkey, the Prime Minister believed, was the key to opening a new route in the Mediterranean via the Dardanelles to send supplies to the USSR. The two political chiefs were particularly anxious following Casablanca to give tangible evidence of their expressed desire to relieve Axis pressure on the USSR-whose fate was still felt to be in some doubt. Stalin's disappointment over the delay in Africa, the continued postponement of the second front in Europe, the interruption of the northern convoys, and other delays in meeting Protocol commitments to the USSR made such aid all the more desirable.98
After the Casablanca Conference Churchill went to Adana to meet with President Inonu and other officials of the Turkish Government. He hoped to pave the way for Turkey's entry into the war in the autumn of 1943. He promised to speed up and increase supplies, though he emphasized that he could not draw a blank check on the United States. Upon its entry into the war, Turkey would immediately receive at least twenty-five air squadrons. Despite Churchill's optimism, the results of the conference were inconclusive. No definite promise was given that Turkey would enter the war on the Allied side.99
In the following months estimates of material were drawn up by British and Turkish staffs and submitted to Washington, but U.S. officials gave them a relatively low priority, since Casablanca had given no clear indication of the priority for Turkish requirements.100, Meanwhile, War Department planners continued to study ways and means of resisting an Axis invasion of Turkey and of attacking Axis forces from bases in Turkey.101 They recognized the obvious

military advantages of a Turkey favorably disposed to the Allied war effort, but staff studies indicated that, if Turkey entered the war on the Allied side with its forces in their current state, Turkey would be a liability rather than an asset.102 The resultant argument that Turkey not be brought into the war prematurely, and that, in the meantime, it be maintained in a state of neutrality favorable to the Allies, appealed to the senior statesmen among the planners-JSSC-and to the JCS.103 Such was the argument General Marshall, speaking for the JCS, had advanced at Casablanca.104
The acquiescence of the U.S. military staff in the principle of inducing Turkey to join the Allies actively in the war continued to be tempered with the proviso that the price in military aid for the abandonment of neutrality must not be the weakening of a concentrated effort for a major cross-Channel invasion. The U.S. military planners kept on applying this yardstick to proposals for aid to and operations from Turkey. As OPD's Strategy Section warned, re-equipping the Turkish Army-a force of over forty-five divisions-would be a major commitment that would have serious effects on the ability of Allied countries to equip their own forces.105 The U.S. military planners urged a "go slow" attitude. It was obvious that much of the required materiel would have to come from U.S. sources. The problem of Turkey's entry-and the price to be paid for it-was to remain with the Allied political chiefs and their staffs almost to the close of the European conflict.
The variety of claims upon American resources stemming from the commitment to the Mediterranean underlined the task confronting the Army planners. U.S. production was not yet at its peak, shipping was still a limiting factor, and no master plan existed for distributing U.S. resources. The needs of the moment threatened to siphon off more and more of those resources. How to make the most of current opportunities in the Mediterranean and +still prevent it from becoming a "suction pump" that might upset long-range goals against Germany was the problem confronting General Marshall and his advisers.


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