Chapter XXII
Political Shadows
Although the Allied nations seemed to be moving swiftly toward victory during the summer of 1944, there were indications of powerful undercurrents at work. Political pressures in the coalition war were rising in the wake of the landings on the Continent. These pressures, warning of the inevitable weakening of the common bonds after the high tide of military triumph, were often obscured, at least for many Americans, by the necessity of first winning the war. Nevertheless the political questions, lying like dangerous reefs before the Allies, began to assume definite shape and foreshadowed the coming need for a firm hand on the tiller.
The spectacular advance of the Allies in Europe brought problems of postwar settlements to the fore and at the same time sharpened interest in the war against Japan on the part of those Allies who had Far Eastern and Pacific possessions. With the defeat of Germany presumably in the offing, the common danger in the West that had bound the Allies together would be removed and more attention could be devoted by each to strengthening national security for the postwar era and achieving national goals in the war against Japan. This emergence of national self-interest laid bare some of the stumbling blocks on the road to peace and also complicated the Allied effort to win the war. As the summer advanced the Army planners found themselves forced to enter more and more into the realm of politics and diplomacy in order to cope with the changing problems of the coalition.
The Anglo-American Coalition
The differences of opinion between the Americans and British over ANVIL in relation to the significance of Mediterranean operations were but one facet of underlying disagreement over the type of war to be fought and objectives to be sought by the Anglo-American military coalition. The American concept of a military war to defeat Germany as quickly as possible, in order to release the means for a similar effort against Japan, envisioned as little involvement as possible in Europe's internal affairs both during and after the struggle. The recognition by the U.S. leaders that the occupation of Germany would be necessary did not carry any concomitant admission that the United States felt constrained to police other potential trouble areas unless this proved essential to defeating Germany. It is not surprising that this American reluctance to assume postwar responsibility for European affairs met with little enthusiasm from the British, whose greater experience and proximity to the situation made them more aware that the end of a war

usually meant the beginning of greater responsibility.
During the long discussions, between SEXTANT and September 1944, over the zones of occupation in Germany, the U.S. position on postwar European problems was more sharply delineated. In November 1943 the President had set forth his ideas on splitting Germany into several states and on the desirability of American occupation of northwestern Germany.1 No decision had been made at SEXTANT, and the matter was turned over to GOSSAC's staff for further study.2 The COSSAC staff, in its report of late January 1944, opposed U.S. occupation of northwestern Germany since the British forces would be on the northern flank in the drive into Germany, and a change in position would necessitate administrative and logistical delay and confusion. Leahy, in commenting upon this objection, admitted that there were no essential military grounds for a reversal of zones, but the President clung quite firmly to his desire that the United States should take over northwestern Germany.3
In February in a strongly worded note to Stettinius, then Acting Secretary of State, the President spelled out some of his thoughts on America's role in postwar Europe:
I do not want the United States to have the post-war burden of reconstituting France, Italy and the Balkans. This is not our natural task at a distance of 3,500 miles or more. It is definitely a British task in which the British are far more vitally interested than we are.
From the point of view of the United States, our principal object is not to take part in the internal problems in southern Europe but is rather to take part in eliminating Germany at a possible and even probable cost of a third World War.
After ruling out objections to a transfer of zones after the war as specious, Roosevelt went on:
I have had to consider also the ease of maintaining American troops in some part of Germany . . . . Therefore, I think the American policy should be to occupy northwestern Germany, the British occupying the area from the Rhine south, and also being responsible for the policing of France and Italy, if this should become necessary.
In regard to the long range security of Britain against Germany, this is not a part of the first occupation. The British will have plenty of time to work that out . . . . The Americans by that time will be only too glad to retire all their military forces from Europe.
If anything further is needed to justify this disagreement with the British lines of demarcation, I can only add that political considerations in the United States make my decision conclusive.4
A few days later, the President in a more jocular mood wrote to Churchill in the same vein:
"Do please don't" ask me to keep any American forces in France. I just cannot do its I would have to bring them all back home. As I suggested before, I denounce in protest the paternity of Belgium, France, and Italy. You really ought to bring up and discipline your own children. In view of the fact that they may be your bulwark in future days, you should at least pay for the schooling now!5

To the Army planners, the Presidential stand presented firm guidance on American policy in Europe during early 1944 and evoked a hearty "Hooray!" from General Roberts.6 Backed by Roosevelt, Ambassador Winant adhered to the U.S. claim for northwestern Germany before the European Advisory Commission in London during the spring of 1944, while a directive was issued to Eisenhower in May to plan for the occupation of the Netherlands and northwestern Germany, but not France, Austria, or the Balkans.7
With the advent of summer came the first signs that the President might be weakening in his position somewhat and that he might not be averse to sending a token U.S. occupation force to Austria in order to ensure American participation in its postwar administration. Despite this break in his stand, Roosevelt continued to resist all efforts by the War and State Departments to reach a compromise with the British on the German zones. Although McCloy, Stettinius, and Hopkins joined in the attempt to overcome the President's objections to U.S. occupation of a southern zone by suggesting joint control of northern German and Lowland ports and co-ordinated occupation of northern Germany, he flatly turned them down. He remained confident that he could persuade the Prime Minister to agree to his own proposal. During this stalemate, tile Army carried on its planning on a dual basis and made ready to occupy either northwestern or southwestern Germany, as the case might be.8
There does not seem to be convincing evidence that Marshall or the Army planners felt very strongly about the question of zones in Germany, but rather that they simply followed the Presidential lead. During the pursuit of the Germans across France in August, Eisenhower's decision to move Allied troops into Germany according to previous plans-the British in the north and the Americans in the south-if Germany should collapse, met no opposition from the Washington staff.9 What was perhaps more important to the Army in the Anglo-American exchange on occupation policy in Europe was the knowledge that the President intended to keep U.S. occupational responsibilities in Europe on a very limited basis territorially. Although there was considerable discrepancy between the President's November 1943 estimate of 1,000,000 U.S. soldiers in Germany for a year or two and the

Army's early summer of 1944 estimate of 400,000 troops at the end of a year after the defeat of Germany, both envisioned U.S. participation mainly in Germany and possibly the Lowlands.10 Anticipating public demand for some demobilization after the defeat of Germany and Congressional economy drives in the postwar period, the Army's support of the President's restricted program was not surprising, for the Army staff remembered the disillusioning years following World War I. As Handy cautioned Roberts in the summer of 1944 in the related matter of postwar bases:
It is my opinion that we should be careful not to over-extend-that is acquire bases which as a practical matter under peace conditions we will not have the forces to defend. They are a liability rather than an asset.11
Although settlement of the zones of occupation was deferred until the President and Prime Minister met at OCTAGON in September, the Army concept of a military war freed insofar as possible of postwar political objectives and long-range responsibilities had been given a powerful stimulus by the President. The strategic decisions that lay ahead in Europe, and in the war against Japan also, could not fail to be influenced by the American unity on this principle. The drive to bear the enemy as quickly as possible and as efficiently as possible was to be retained as first priority by the United States.
At first glance, it would be hard to reconcile American reluctance to accept British help in the Pacific war with this theme, but upon closer examination the reasons were consistent enough. It should be remembered that the almost exclusive American management of the Pacific war during the first two years of U.S. participation had been one of the features of the global conflict. As long as the United States had given at least paper recognition to the primacy of the European struggle, the Army and Navy were allowed to make all the strategic decisions in the Pacific and merely had to secure the acquiescence of the British. In spite of periodic complaints on the build-up of resources during the early stages of the Pacific war, this early growth of U.S. power was fostered by the critical nature of the situation and the realization that Japan must be stopped and contained. Once the enemy had been halted and the Allied counteroffensive had been loosed on Guadalcanal and in New Guinea, the momentum and the need to maintain the strategic initiative had drawn in an ever-increasing number of men, planes, and ships. By the end of August 1944 there were 1,073,746 Army personnel in the Pacific, exclusive of Alaska and the CBI 12 The preponderance of U.S. manpower, air strength, and naval power had permitted the Americans to determine where and how those forces should be employed. Disputes and arguments had been on the service level for the most part, with Marshall and King working out compromises inter se. More often

than not the Chief of Staff had to act as a mediator between the Navy and his own subordinate, MacArthur. Since this had all been within the family, so to speak, settlements had usually been amicable and, with the possible exception of the Philippines, decisions had always been based upon military needs rather than political desires.
It was natural, therefore, that, since Pacific affairs were proceeding so favorably, the Americans should wish to preserve the status quo. There were areas where other Allied nations might contribute to the defeat of Japan without prejudicing the American effort in the Pacific-particularly in the Central Pacific. The British could operate in the SEAC area, the Chinese in China, the Russians in Siberia and Manchuria, the French could join the British in southeast Asia, and the Dutch, Australians, and New Zealanders could assist MacArthur in SWPA. This compartmentalization of effort worked admirably in the early phases of the war because all Allied forces were nibbling at the Japanese perimeter, but the success of the U.S. march across the Pacific altered the situation. As the Americans had progressed from island to island, dealing successive defeats to the Japanese, they drew near to the more valuable of the overrun colonial possessions of Britain, France, and the Netherlands. It was to be expected that the three governments would display more intense interest and would seek to participate in decisions concerning their former territories. Everybody wanted to be in on the kill.
As far back as Casablanca, the British had stated their intention of getting into the Pacific war as soon as possible and had reiterated it at each succeeding conference. During the early part of 1944, the pressure they had been exerting to assume a future role in the showdown with Japan had mounted. When the CCS met in London in June, the British Chiefs of Staff sought guidance from the joint Chiefs on the area in the war against Japan in which their assistance could best be employed. It was not surprising that the JCS recommended the Indian Ocean as the best and most helpful place, since the British forces could be based on India. As a second choice, the Americans thought that the western flank of SWPA in the NEI-Malaya area might be suitable. Since the United States forces would soon be leaving their Australian bases behind, there was a possibility that the British could use the bases by the time they were ready to mount their operations. The Americans realized British national policy demanded that the British play a sizable role in the defeat of Japan, but the Americans were anxious to channel that effort into areas under British direction such as SEAC, or, if necessary, into MacArthur's already mixed command rather than into the purely American organization in the Central Pacific.13 Of course, any British participation would have to be self-supporting or it would be valueless, since otherwise U.S. units would have to be withdrawn from the Pacific to make room for the British.
To the U.S. staff, winning the war was

all important. As the JSSC counseled the joint planners:
Our national interests do not require us to devise operations by U.S. forces which are not directly contributory to our main effort in order to seize areas of post-war strategic importance.
In general, our strategic policy does not require either the exclusion or inclusion of the British, Russian, Dutch or French from participation in the seizure of any enemy-held territory in the Far East. The question of participation in each case should be decided solely on the basis of military consideration from the U.S. point of view.
It is compatible with our strategy to permit the reoccupation of British, French, or Dutch territories in the Far East without our military participation.14
In mid-July the British informed the United States that a force of six divisions, exclusive of Dominion troops, and a corps of two Dutch divisions would be available in 1945, if Germany were defeated by October 1944.15 It was apparent that the main British contribution and the most useful one would still be the fleet units that also were to become available in 1945.
Although the British effort would not make itself felt in the Pacific until at least mid-1945, both King and MacArthur were anxious to keep future British activities under close surveillance. Neither wanted British forces in the Netherlands East Indies unless they were under U.S. control, since both felt that it might prove difficult to dislodge the British once they got in. MacArthur, moreover, felt the British should first clean up the SEAC area and then, under his command, should help mop up in SWPA. He did not think it fair that the British be allowed to extend SEAC's boundaries later on and reap the fruits of victory in SWPA that they had done so little to merit. In his opinion, it would be destructive of U.S. prestige in the Far East and would unquestionably have a most deleterious effect on future economic trends.16
The British were highly alert to the political significance and necessity of having their forces take a prominent part in the main" operations against Japan. In mid-August they offered their fleet for the big drive in the Central Pacific and, in case this proved impossible, suggested as an alternative that a British Empire task force with a British commander be formed to operate under MacArthur's Supreme Command.17 There was considerable discussion in Washington of the British proposals. There was some doubt of British ability to form a task force, which was the more acceptable of the British naval offers. ASF authorities, moreover, did not believe that the British could spare six divisions and maintained that the United States would be called upon to supply them if they could be found. Ambassador Winant wrote Hopkins from London that the bottom of the British manpower barrel had been reached and that demobilization was inevitable after Germany's defeat. Even

so, he went on, the British would have to be in on the final showdown or bad feeling in the postwar era might result.18
The Army planners looked at the British proposals with a critical eye. Since it would take nine months after Germany's defeat for the British to redeploy their land forces and four to seven months their air forces, they would not have much to fight with, except their Navy, until mid-1945. By that time, MacArthur should be well into the Philippines and Kenney and the Seventh Fleet would be "making hay" over the South China Sea.19 Colonel Billo of the Strategy Section of the Operations Division stated, "Deployment of British forces does not involve strategy-they can neither hasten nor retard the defeat of Japan. Deployment must be based solely on high political policy." British policy, he continued, was clear: to reoccupy all British possessions where possible or to send along political officers with the occupying force; to regain their lost prestige in Australia and New Zealand; to restore French, Dutch, and Portuguese colonial possessions; and to obtain maximum U.S. aid in the political and economic reconstruction of these occupied territories. American policy, according to Billo, was not so definite. The United States was willing to permit the return of the former possessions with the exception of Hong Kong; it wished to remain the dominant power in the .Japanese mandates, Philippines, and China; Hong Kong and French Indochina it would like to return to China; and the Philippines were to he freed, although necessary military bases would be retained. There were three major questions on postwar national policy that must be determined by the President if possible or, if not, by the JCS, Billo went on. First, did the United States want to remain the dominant power in the Southwest Pacific area? Next, did the United States want to retain any military bases in the area south of the line Solomons-French Indochina-Calcutta? If so, what? And, lastly, did the United States desire economic or political concessions in the Netherlands East Indies, Siam, or French Indochina? If yes, then what concessions? Until these questions were answered, he concluded, the problems of command, redeployment, boundaries, and division of responsibility could not be faced intelligently.20 Billo's analysis was symptomatic of the growing importance of political elements in the strategic pattern during the summer of 1944.
Decisions on the questions Colonel Billo raised could not be reached overnight, but the problem of British participation had to be determined as soon as possible. In early September Marshall recommended that the British offer of an Empire task force be accepted, since it would not interfere with MacArthur's planned operations and since the consideration of logistical support could be discussed at a later date. Any hope the Americans had of avoiding further debate on the subject was quickly dispelled by the British, who immediately pressed the JCS for an answer to their proposal for the use of their fleet in the main

operations against Japan in the Pacific.21 It appeared that the matter would be one of the main problems to be faced at OCTAGON.
The U.S. position on the entrance of Great Britain into the Central Pacific, therefore, was not inconsistent with its over-all stand for a military war uncomplicated by political elements. Desiring to remain apart from the internal conflicts and readjustments of Europe and the Far East, the United States also wished to keep the essentially American phase of the Pacific war that way in the interest of speed and efficiency. But with military desirability coming into conflict with political expediency, the necessity for compromise with the aspirations of the allies seemed likely to force some alteration in the American attitude.
The Soviet Ally
In contrast with the mounting impact of political problems in Anglo-American affairs in 1944, relations between the United States and the Soviet Union during the same period remained wholly on a military basis. That this condition prevailed may be ascribed not to unawareness on the part of U.S. military planners that political elements were entering the situation, but rather to the steady resistance of the President and his close advisers to any introduction of political or military bargaining with the Russians. The past sacrifices and the current successes of the USSR in its fight against Germany gave the Soviet authorities carte blanche in their dealings with the United States, in spite of intermittent warnings that the policy might now be outmoded and should be reassessed.
When Ambassador Harriman had suggested in February 1944 that Deane's military mission screen or check Soviet requests for lend-lease supplies since there no longer was a crisis, the President's Protocol Committee turned him down.22 Priorities for lend-lease to the Soviet Union continued to remain high and, for the time being at least, efforts to apply pressure on the Russians and to obtain some quid fro quo ceased.
Although direct pressure might be frowned upon, Marshall had pointed out to the President in late March that American aid served a highly useful purpose in itself:
An important factor enabling the Soviets to seize the offensive and retain it is Lend-Lease. Lend-Lease food and transport particularly have been vital factors in Soviet success. Combat aircraft, upon which the Soviet Air Forces relied so greatly, have been furnished in relatively great numbers (11,300 combat planes received). Should there be a full stoppage it is extremely doubtful whether Russia could retain efficiently her all-out offensive capabilities. Even defensively the supply of Lend-Lease food and transport would play an extremely vital role. It amounts to about a million tons a year. If Russia were deprived of it, Germany could probably still defeat the U.S.S.R. Lend-Lease is our trump card in dealing with U.S.S.R. and its control is possibly the most effective means we have to keep the Soviets on the offensive in connection with the second front.23

Thus, while the positive bargaining powers of lend-lease were not employed, the ever-present possibility that lend-lease might be curtailed or cut off was recognized as a weapon in reserve to ensure Soviet co-operation with OVERLORD.
An attempt by the JCS in May 1944 to set up a policy on lend-lease following the defeat of Germany that would limit U.S. aid exclusively to the Allied forces employed against Japan met with little success. After a delay of four months, the President informed the military that he would make such decisions on national policy himself.24
Unable to use its greatest potential weapon in treating with the USSR, the Army staff was forced to fall back upon its own devices and handle Soviet requests purely on a military basis. Late in April, when Deane recommended conditioning U.S. approval of Soviet petitions for heavy bombers and C-54's upon Soviet reciprocity in the matter of bases for U.S. bombers to be used against. Japan, the AAF informed him that bomber build-up and training time would preclude any use by the Russians of a bomber force before the spring of 1945 Since the United States was seeking to curtail aircraft production at the earliest moment and since current production estimates would not support the development of a Soviet bomber force that promised to be of little value in defeating Germany, it did not seem wise to the AAF to grant the request. The AAF also pointed out that the Russians would probably demand special equipment for the bombers that was not only still in short supply but also had not been released for use by America's other allies.25
Although the War Department was disinclined to build up a Soviet bomber force, it was not averse to impressing the Russians with the efficiency and technical ability of the U.S. bomber forces. In an effort to improve Soviet-American relations during the fall of 1941 and to allow the Allied aircraft to bomb targets otherwise out of reach and thus subject the entire German Reich to long-range air attack, the Air Forces had proposed the institution of a shuttle bombing project (later called FRANTIC) between the Mediterranean and the United Kingdom on the one hand, and the USSR on the other. Such an operation would serve to demonstrate the solidarity of the three partners and would help to break ground for the later use of Siberian bases in the war against Japan. Despite the fact that Stalin's approval had been won at Tehran, it took several months of negotiations before three bases in the Ukraine-Poltava, Mirgorod, and Piryatin-were selected and readied for use. On 2 June the first mission, called FRANTIC JOE and led by General Eaker, was flown from the Mediterranean to the new bases.26 Suspicious as ever of

foreigners on Soviet soil, the Russians insisted on setting up a complicated procedure of group visas for the U.S. airmen who entered the Soviet Union-a system that broke down in practice. Although there was some reluctance on the part of the Russians to permit the American bombers to strike at major strategic targets and despite a disastrous German raid on the shuttle airfields on the night of 21-22 June, seven missions were carried out during the summer.
With the rapid forward sweep of the Russians and the Allies toward Germany during this period, some objectives were eliminated as targets and others were brought within reach of the Allied bombers and fighters operating from France and Italy. As the obvious military reasons for shuttle bombing disappeared, the Russians began to show signs that they wished an end to the project. Their excuse was the limitations imposed by the approaching cold weather. Despite the desire of the War Department to hold on to the three bases in the Ukraine, a suggestion by Eaker that the United States place some restrictions on Soviet air operations in the Mediterranean-Balkans area in order to produce a change in the Soviet attitude toward the shuttle bases met with little encouragement.27
The outbreak of the Polish uprising against the Germans in Warsaw on 1 August led to the last shuttle bombing mission. Although the Soviet forces were almost within hailing distance of Warsaw by this time, the Russians not only made no move to aid the beleaguered Poles but also denounced the leaders of the revolt as reckless adventurers. Appeals for aid for the Poles from Churchill and Roosevelt had little effect upon Stalin until matters had become quite desperate. It was 11 September before he gave his consent for the Americans to airdrop supplies into Warsaw. The airdrop was carried out on 18 September, but few of the supplies reached Polish hinds. Without sufficient supplies and with little hope of any relief, the insurrectionists were forced to surrender some two weeks later. With the collapse of the Polish revolt in Warsaw, the closing of the shuttle bases became inevitable. By the end of October only a small caretaking force remained at Poltava and the other two bases were shut down.
The value of the FRANTIC project is debatable. That it served to bring about some Soviet-American air collaboration and offered an opportunity for the United States to display its technical superiority, there can be little doubt. On the other hand, its strategic accomplishments are less apparent, for the Germans seem to have paid little attention to the whole operation, with the exception of their telling raid on 21-22 June. Most of the targets attacked during the FRANTIC missions could have been reached from the Mediterranean or the United Kingdom without using the shuttle bases. By the time that the first shuttle bombing mission got under way in June, the Allies were about to prove their good faith to the Russians with the landing in Normandy. Perhaps the greatest value of the FRANTIC

project lay in the political experience gained by the American negotiators, military and civilian, in their attempts to sustain the operation. In the face of frequent Soviet opposition, they managed to get approval for seven missions. This in itself was quite a feat, since the Russians had resisted all other efforts to introduce foreign troops to Soviet territory. Why the Russians consented to the shuttle bombing project and allowed it to be set up remains one of the more intriguing questions of Soviet-American wartime relations.
The swift tempo of operations during the summer of 1944 focused the attention of the Army upon the need for closer liaison with the Russians in regard both to the windup of the European war and to the expected association of the Soviet Union in the Japanese conflict. The Army planners were conscious of the fact that, despite Soviet promises to enter the Japanese war, the Russians had made no military commitments in the Far East. While the United States had been trying to keep the British out of the Pacific without a great deal of success, the attempts to lure the Russians into the war against Japan were also proving fruitless. As Arnold later commented, the USSR had no intentions of fighting a two-front war and kept all the negotiations in a planning stage.28 After Stalin's pledge at SEXTANT to enter the Far Eastern struggle as soon as Germany was beaten, little progress had been made in getting the Russians to plan concretely in the Far East.
It is true that U.S. officers were permitted to inspect Siberian ports in June -dressed as civilians, of course, lest the Japanese protest-but representations on the availability, location, and condition of airfields in the maritime provinces and the logistical implications of supplying these bases became bogged down in a mass of Soviet indifference and red tape despite a personal plea from Roosevelt to Stalin in August.29 The potential use of the northern route against Japan, a recurrent but never dominant planning theme during the whole war, was still under consideration by the joint planners, yet the casual attitude displayed by the Soviet authorities suggested that nothing would be done to excite Japanese fears or resentment until the European commitment had run its course.
Whether the USSR would be essential to the defeat of Japan was still a moot question in the summer of 1944. The joint planners felt that the enemy's capitulation would not be contingent upon the active participation of the USSR, since Soviet capabilities would not be great for some months after the defeat of Germany. On the other hand, General Ernbick, Army member of the JSSC, thought that the entry of the Soviet Union would be "of most cardinal importance" in holding down the Japanese Kwantung army on the mainland if the United States invaded Japan.30 There was little unanimity of opinion among the military leaders on the need for invasion itself, as has been shown, and the value of having the USSR in the

Pacific war rested mainly on the necessity for carrying out an assault on Japan. As an air base, Siberia would be useful but not indispensable to the bombardment of Japanese military and industrial targets. But, with the acceptance of the need for invasion in July by the Joint Chiefs for planning purposes, the desire to secure closer co-operation in the Far East with the Russians and to begin active planning for the day when the USSR would come into the war was intensified.31
According to the U.S. staff in Moscow, opposition to Soviet planning on all air matters stemmed not from the Soviet Army or Air Staff but from political sources. There was apparently a studied attempt by Soviet authorities to avoid all air collaboration, and when in September, after six weeks, no replies had been given to the U.S. Far Eastern air base proposals, Harriman and his military advisers made another effort to secure application of pressure on the Russians in order to obtain due consideration for American requests.32 Like its predecessors, this plea was not ,approved, and American policy continued to be one of shunning any semblance of making demands or seeking a quid pro quo. The "get tough" line was not to develop until a much later period.
By mid-September, U.S.-Soviet military affairs in regard to the Japanese war were still bogged down in unanswered requests. Administrative delay, once the familiar explanation of the British in Burma, had found a counterpart in the Soviet position in the Far East. Until the Russians were ready to intervene and had set their price, little success could be expected from the U.S. negotiations.
The French Problem
In direct contrast with the noncommittal attitude of the Soviet Union, France was eager to participate in the European and Far Eastern wars on as large a scale as possible. The French attitude was quite understandable. The necessity for restoring French prestige and national pride made the leaders of the French forces anxious to rebuild France's armed strength and to play an active and important role in the defeat of both Germany and Japan. Like Britain, France could not afford to have its possessions handed back to it as a gift without losing face in the Far East and, unless the French forces were able to strike back hard at their German conquerors, national morale might be seriously affected and postwar recovery might be made more difficult.
The U.S. Army staff, on the other hand, oriented to fighting an efficient and military war, could not be expected to be highly enthusiastic over the ambitious plans for raising and equipping new French divisions presented by the Washington representatives of the French Committee of National Liberation (FCNL) in late 1943. The prime factors of time and production had begun to operate against any increases in the French rearmament program that could not ostensibly be justified as contributing to the defeat of Germany. In commenting upon the French request to

the JCS, Marshall had pointed out in November 1943 that the question of rearming more than the eleven divisions already approved at Casablanca was a matter of national policy and should be decided by the President on the basis of its postwar implications.33
The problem of French rearmament was complicated during early 1944 by the involved relations between the Americans and British on the one hand and the French Committee of National Liberation on the other. With the President reluctant to recognize the committee as the provisional government of France and determined to stay out of French postwar problems, most of the guidance received from him was of a negative character. As he instructed Eisenhower in March, the defeat of Germany was his first aim, but he desired that democratic methods be fostered during the coming liberation of France so that favorable conditions could be established for the eventual formation of a representative French government.34 He refused to treat with the FCNL on a political level and insisted that any discussions regarding the future employment of the existing French forces be carried on with Eisenhower.35
The disinclination of the President to bolster the authority of De Gaulle and the FCNL led to further problems during the spring. There were misunderstandings over the supplying of French resistance groups and over the issuance of invasion currency for OVERLORD forces. Since the British and Americans did not have a great deal of confidence in French security measures, little was revealed to the French leaders concerning the details of OVERLORD until the last possible moment. This, among other things, may have contributed to the failure of the negotiations to have De Gaulle broadcast an appeal to the French people on D Day for their co-operation with OVERLORD. Although De Gaulle's visit to Washington in early July did serve to clear the atmosphere somewhat, the role the French forces would play in the liberation of France and in the defeat of Germany was still confused and uncertain.36
In the face of this political impasse, Marshall attempted to keep the question of French rearmament on a military basis. In late July, when instructing the joint Logistics Committee on considering French requests for rearming more divisions, he stated:
The Chief of Staff desires that an answer to all these questions (rearmament, French air forces, resistance groups, civilian labor) be arrived at which will utilize the available French manpower in a well-balanced fighting force to include the normal components of combat support troops and service troops with the necessary headquarters, consistent with manpower limitations, and solely with this objective: the utilization of French manpower as effectively as is possible in order to prosecute the war to a rapid conclusion. In other words, no consideration should be given, by any committee, to the development of a postwar French Army; only those troops

should be equipped and armed who can participate in the war at an early date.37
This military approach to French rearmament was further reflected when the British made a proposal to the JCS and State Department simultaneously in late August. The British suggested that, in the immediate postwar period, they would be responsible for equipping the forces of Belgium, Holland, Denmark, and Norway, while the United States would take care of France. In this manner, they stated, the forces of these nations could be closely integrated with those of the United States and Great Britain.38 In turning the proposal over to Roberts, Handy cautioned: "This is purely postwar. I believe the U.S. Chiefs of Staff should approach it very carefully and make no commitments without President's approval."39
The initial military reaction to the British approach was unfavorable. The Joint Logistics Committee found that the plan, if accepted, might tend to foster spheres of influence that might restrict operations of U.S. manufacturers after the war. Besides committing the United States to rearming the French, the possible development of a closely knit western European bloc would exclude the Soviet Union and run counter to a strong international organization. The JLC suggested discussing any such plan on a tripartite basis with the USSR. The committee also recommended expanding the plan to include all liberated nations rather than just the western European group.40 When Marshall referred the matter to the JSSC, their recommendations disagreed, in part, with those of the JLC. The JSSC believed that rearming western European allies would permit the United States to reduce and then withdraw its occupational forces in Europe at earlier dates. Even though the JSSC favored the British plan conditionally, they also supported the JLC stand that any implication of U.S. encouragement of a western bloc should be avoided and the USSR should be consulted.41
While the subjects of French rearmament and postwar forces were being discussed, the Allies had completed their sweep across France and thousands of eligible Frenchmen, many of them already armed, were made available for employment in the war. The questions of how many could be used and how best they could be used continued to plague the Allies during the balance of the summer. If the fight against Germany were to be successfully concluded in the early fall of 1944 as was then expected, there would be no need for

raising additional French combat divisions, but rather there would be a requirement for garrison, service, and line of communications troops. If, on the other hand, the campaign should drag on into 1945, an entirely different set of circumstances would prevail, and more French divisions could be very helpful. The solution to this problem would have to wait until the tactical situation on the Continent became clearer and the Allies could estimate more accurately the amount and kind of assistance they desired of France.42
While the French interest centered mainly on the European war during this period, the French also made approaches to the GCS on the matter of future participation in the war against Japan. As was to be expected, their chief consideration was Indochina, and matched the concern the Dutch and Portuguese were demonstrating for their colonial possessions in the Pacific.43 It was not surprising that these powers wished to regain their territories from the Japanese, nor that their efforts to do so were supported by the British, who had a similar stake in that area.
The political significance of succoring France and the other nations with colonial possessions was not lost upon the Army planners, who, as in the case with the British, saw no objections to the recovery of prewar possessions, provided no U.S. forces were involved in the process. The Army staff had no desire to incur the future enmity of native populations by allowing American soldiers to assist in the resubjugation of colonies, especially when the prospect of a rise in Asiatic nationalism sparked by Japanese wartime propaganda was likely to follow the close of hostilities. The problem of how to keep U.S. aid on a military basis and to ward off any political stigma would have to be faced in the days ahead.
Relations With Other Nations
The unwillingness of the United States to become entangled in Europe's political affairs any more than was absolutely necessary to defeat Germany was shown not only in its relations with the great powers in Europe but also in its dealings with the smaller nations during mid-1944. In the traditional powder keg of the Balkans, the U.S. Army staff trod with a wary step. Supported by the President's dictum on shunning U.S. postwar commitments in that area, the staff regarded the various British proposals with caution.
As Marshall had informed the JCS in April, he felt that equipping patriot forces in the Balkans for wartime use against the Germans was justified, but that there should be no complete rearming for postwar conditions.44 The Operations Division had recommended that U.S. participation in civil affairs in Albania, Yugoslavia, and Greece be limited to relief and rehabilitation and that in regard to Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Rumania American participation be contingent upon actual employment of

U.S. forces in those countries.45 Agreeing with this proposal, the JCS had in­formed the British in late May that no U.S. forces would be employed in southern Europe on occupational duty and that any located in the area at the end of the war would be withdrawn as soon as practicable.46 This disclaimer of United States responsibility in the Balkans was sustained by the American stand on ANVIL versus Italy and the Balkans issue during the summer and proved to be one of the sore spots in Anglo-American relations for the rest of the war. By default, it left the question of Balkan hegemony to be settled between the British and the Russians, although the President still thought he should be consulted on any arrangements that were to be made.47
Closely connected with the Balkan problem in many ways, the role of Turkey again came up for discussion in July. As the war had progressed, the necessity for Turkish entry on the Allied side had dwindled. The Russians became less inclined to attach importance to Turkish participation, and the U.S. military planners seemed disposed to agree with them. Strategically, Turkish forces could only be used against Bulgaria, and the Army staff was well aware that the USSR had special interests in Bulgaria.48 Faced with this situation, the Strategy Section concluded that there would be more disadvantages than advantages in having Turkey in the war. The United States would have to supply technicians and equipment that would utilize critical shipping. If the Turks attacked Bulgaria, Soviet forces would be brought into the southern Balkans, and neither the Turks nor the British wanted that to happen. The Strategy Section held that if the Germans evacuated Greece, the United States could redispose its forces in the Mediterranean to allow the British to occupy Greece, but if the Germans did not, then no diversion should be made. Basically, the planners believed, the question of American support of British policy in the Mediterranean was a long-range decision that should be made primarily on the ground of whether the United States would need to retain a close Anglo-American alliance after the war. If close alliance were desirable, safe-guarding the British lines of communication in the Mediterranean should be assured.49
Despite these stipulated disadvantages and possible alternatives to Turkish entry into the war, the JCS and State Department decided that Turkey should be urged to sever diplomatic relations with Germany as soon as practicable as a first step toward belligerency. But there were important provisos to this approval, in that the United States would

not commit itself to support a campaign in the Balkans and would not divert resources from agreed upon operations in the western Mediterranean. When the Turks expressed their concern over such a conditional approval, the United States at the beginning of August modified its position somewhat. If a Balkan campaign should develop, the United States would be willing to reconsider the matter and see if portions of Turkish requests for aid could be made available.50
The unsettled conditions in the Balkan-Aegean area and the possibility of a Soviet clash with the British as their interests conflicted were not overlooked by the Army planners. As Colonel Billo of the Strategy Section pointed out to Roberts early in September, the United States might be placed in the middle by ensuing circumstances and Germany's hope of creating dissension among the Allies in order to obtain more lenient peace terms might be realized.51 The Balkan problems, added to the troublesome dispute with the Soviet Union over the relief of Warsaw, made the potentiality for deepening rifts seem even more acute.52 There was little that the Army staff could do about the situation, but it was another element that had to be considered in making plans.
In addition to political and military headaches, there were also several diplomatic matters pertaining to European neutrals that required the Army staff's attention. Although neutrals were essentially the concern of the State Department, the trading of vital military materials to Germany by Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, and Portugal had long been a troublesome problem to the Army. In June, Under Secretary of War Robert P. Patterson recommended that the State Department cease applying gradual pressure upon these neutrals and insist that they stop supplying the enemy. Secretary Hull pointed out that the United States had to act in concert with the British in these matters and that current arrangements had secured some reduction in Swedish ball-bearing exports.53 However, when the Swedes later turned down an Anglo-American demand backed by the USSR for a change in Swedish policy vis-ŕ-vis Germany, Hull suggested that the threat of taking control of Swedish interests in the United States might be used to increase the pressure. The Allied insistence upon further reductions in Swedish trade with Germany, added to the threat of postwar commercial disadvantages to Sweden should it continue such trade, produced a change in Swedish policy in late 1944, when the Swedes ceased their export trade with Germany.54
Switzerland, lacking the resources of Sweden, presented a somewhat different problem. As Marshall indicated to the GCS in July, the United States did not want the Swiss to use war materials imported from the Allies to supply the Germans. The British appreciated the

U.S. position, but did not favor strong measures such as cutting off exports to Switzerland. They preferred the use of persuasion and increased political pressure.55 Essentially, the whole question of dealing with the trade of Switzerland and other neutrals hinged upon the short-term military advantages of a severe Allied economic policy as measured against the long-term economic disadvantages and resentment against the Allies that the neutrals might carry over into the postwar period.
Marshall's attitude toward neutrals trading with Germany typified the Army approach to political problems in mid 1944. Although the Army staff was quite aware of the political implications involved in many of the matters brought to their attention, they received little encouragement from the President to concern themselves with these aspects of them. Co-ordination between the War Department and the State Department proceeded without the continuity that would have been most desirable. The intermittent character of the co-operation between the two departments could be blamed on neither entirely, since frequently it proved difficult to secure a decision from the President, who liked to handle his own foreign affairs. In the absence of top-level and positive political guidance, the Army was often forced to resort to its primary rule of thumb in making decisions-would a given proposal help to bring the war to an end more quickly and more efficiently? The attainment of postwar objectives, with the possible exception of military and air bases, was not in the Army province. If some of the courses of action supported by the Army, staff during this period seem shortsighted, it was, at least in part, because the staff felt bound to limit its consideration to the military import of the matter and not because it was unaware of possible long-range political consequences.
Judged from the military standpoint, there could be no doubt in the summer of 1944 that the Army had been successful in prosecuting the war. The accelerated progress in Europe and in the Pacific attested to the soundness of the strategy it had supported. The approaching conference at Quebec would further confirm the general satisfaction the British and Americans felt with the military course of the war. Regardless of the appearance of disturbing political factors, the military pay-off was coming into sight, and to the Army staff military victory was the primary goal. As the coalition entered the last year of the war, the golden era of strategic planning-soon to be eclipsed by the ascending political star-reached its zenith,


Previous Chapter     Next Chapter

Return to the Table of Contents

Search CMH Online
Return to CMH Online
Last updated 1 June 2004