Chapter V: 
The New Look in Strategic Planning
In the early months of 1943 General Marshall and his staff began to seek new and firmer long-range bases upon which to plan for victory. The Washington strategic planners conducted an exploratory search in three principal directions: the development of planning techniques and tactics; the calculation of the ultimate size and "cutting edge" of the Army; and the designing of strategic concepts and plans. Gradually recovering from the confusion that had marked its deliberations at the turn of the year, the Army staff applied itself to these problems in the spring of 1943 with renewed vigor. To reorient British-American planning toward longer term and more decisive military goals became its chief concern. The meeting of the President and Prime Minister with their military staffs at the international conference in Washington in May (TRIDENT) offered both incentive and opportunity. Army preparations for the TRIDENT Conference indicated a growing awareness of the new realities in the multi-front coalition war and a firmer grasp of its problems.
Reorienting Staff Planning
The U.S. military planners were determined to make a more effective presentation of their cast at TRIDENT than they had at Casablanca. The Casablanca Conference had focused their attention on weaknesses in U.S. staff preparations and had driven home the need for reorganizing and reorienting U.S. staff planning-a need apparent to some of the War Department planners before the end of 1942.1
The definite agreement at Casablanca to undertake an operation in 1943 against Sicily, as urged by the British, and the inability of the U.S. delegation to secure a correspondingly firm British commitment for a major cross-Channel effort had left General Wedemeyer, General Marshall's principal adviser at the conference, keenly disappointed. He wrote: ". . . we lost our shirts and . . . are now committed to a subterranean umbilicus operation in mid-summer . . . . we came, we listened and we were conquered." General Marshall, he observed, had performed magnificently for the Americans, but had received little effective assistance from his colleagues in the JCS. The small U.S. delegation had, in fact, appeared disorganized in contrast to

the large, well-prepared and united British delegation. General Wedemeyer admired the way the British had presented and argued their case:
They swarmed down upon us like locusts with a plentiful supply of planners and various other assistants with prepared plans to insure that they not only accomplished their purpose but did so in stride and with fair promise of continuing in their role of directing strategically the course of this war. I have the greatest admiration .... and if I were a Britisher I would feel very proud. However, as an American I wish that we might be more glib and better organized to cope with these super negotiators. From a worm's eye viewpoint it was apparent that we were confronted by generations and generations of experience in committee work and in rationalizing points of view. They had us on the defensive practically all the time. 2
To meet the British on more nearly equal terms at subsequent formal conferences, the Americans would have to match them in thorough, skillful preparation of their case, or accept British proposals. The Americans saw that they would have to lay the groundwork on an inter-service basis and pave the way for binding agreements by the JCS on the military courses to be followed. They would have to provide joint studies to serve as a basis for understanding between the JCS and the President and at the same time to anticipate and minimize difficulties in coming to a firm agreement with the British.
Before the TRIDENT Conference, the U.S. military staff put some of the lessons of Casablanca into effect. General Wedemeyer suggested to the JCS that the United States "take the offensive" at TRIDENT by requesting the British to consider papers agreed upon by the JCS. In this way the U.S. representatives would not find themselves in the position of "considering all British papers."3 Generals Marshall and McNarney approved and the joint Chiefs accepted the recommendation. Brig. Gen. John E. Hull's proposal for increasing the number of representatives in the American delegation was also approved by General Marshall and put into effect by the JCS.4
Just before TRIDENT, moreover, the JCS approved the major wartime reorganization of the joint committee system. The movement to regularize and reorganize the system, initiated before the end of 1942, was given an impetus by the experience at Casablanca.5 A basic aim of that movement was to breathe new life into the joint system. New agencies, relationships, and divisions of

responsibilities began to appear in the joint planning field.
Already, in November 1942, in order to fill a keenly felt need, the joint Strategic Survey Committee (JSSC) had been set up to advise the JCS on long-range strategic planning.6 This high-level strategic committee was composed of Lt. Gen. Stanley D. Embick, former chief of the War Plans Division (WPD) and Deputy Chief of Staff; Maj. Gen. Muir S. Fairchild of the Army Air Forces; and Vice Adm. Russell Willson.7 Throughout the rest of the wartime period this independent group of "elder statesmen" continued to advise the JCS on broad questions of national policy and world strategy.
The principal achievements of the reorganization movement were the steps taken to increase the effectiveness of the joint Staff Planners (JPS), a committee that was bogging down under innumerable functions, directly and indirectly relating to strategy, that it was attempting to perform. A more or less co-ordinate committee was chartered in May 1943 to take part of the burden. Initially called the joint Administrative Committee and subsequently the joint Logistics Committee (JLC), it dealt on a full-time basis with procurement, allocation, transportation of supplies and equipment, and Deputy Commander in Chief, U.S. Fleet. and other activities in the field of logistics.8 The most significant measure taken to relieve the JPS was the delegation to a working body directly under it of the responsibility for making tentative inter-service agreements on the subsequent deployment and employment of U.S. forces. Hitherto "war plans"-below the scope of broad strategy-had been prepared by the Army and Navy staffs largely without benefit of joint action. A reconstituted working committee, now named the joint War Plans Committee, was established in April 1943.9 It was designed to answer the need for timely, detailed, joint deployment and operational studies.10
Key personnel changes accompanying the transition to the revised planning system brought new vigor into U.S. military planning. In the process, the Army Air Forces gained the voice in joint strategic deliberations on the working level that it had previously won in the JCS and JPS. Col. William W. Bessell, Jr., of the War Department's operations staff was named senior Army member of the JWPC and held the position until

after the defeat of Japan.11 The three senior JWPC planners (or "directors"), representing the Army, the Navy, and the Army Air Forces, actually controlled the detailed functioning of the JWPC. In effect, the Army representatives of the JWPC worked within the JCS committee system to relieve the Chief of Staff and his planning advisers of much of the detailed exploratory conversations with the Navy.
From its establishment in April 1943 until the end of the war, the JWPC prepared a broad variety of studies, papers, and plans. Its main function was the development of joint outline plans for future operations, which were especially valuable as a basis of agreement by the JCS and as a guide for theater headquarters staffs. Reorganization of the joint staff system in Washington paralleled the simultaneous adoption of a system of command for unifying Army and Navy action in the field. Broadly considered, the two movements sprang from the same basic needs-to unify and hasten joint efforts for the accelerating phase of the war-the one in reaching strategic decisions, the other in executing them.
Just before TRIDENT the JWPC hurriedly took over the task of drawing up the papers and plans necessary to prepare the JCS for the conference. This foreshadowed the trend after TRIDENT, when preparations for such conferences were more and more to be systematically centered in the joint planning staff. The interrelated efforts of the military planners to perfect the U.S. joint committee system and the staff work, representation, and procedures for the formal international conferences began to bear fruit in the spring of 1943.12 Increasingly, from the spring of 1943 onward, Army strategic planners worked through the committee and conference network toward the realization of their strategic objectives. Staff education in the processes of waging a global coalition war was to be continually extended and broadened.
In addition to the expansion of the JCS-CCS system, other characteristics of the military planning processes of the later war years that affected Army staff work were beginning to appear. The Army Air Forces accompanied its efforts to gain more direct control over air operations and air planning with more and more frequent presentation of independent views of strategy. Also, with the tempo of operations in the multi-front war accelerating and questions of magnitude and timing becoming more important, the strategic planners recognized the need to turn for logistical advice to qualified staffs and committees in the Army and in the joint system. The special contributions of logistical experts in ASF as well as in the JLC-in reaching decisions on strategic choices and combinations began to be taken into fuller account.
At the same time, with overseas headquarters growing in size and influence, the theater commanders and their staffs were acquiring greater weight in councils on the strategic direction of the war. The President, the Prime Minister, and the CCS came increasingly to rely on the commanders' judgment and experience

and to seek their opinion on important matters of strategy. The commanders' advice was particularly needed in planning the utilization of forces and resources already in the theaters. With the overseas staffs assuming heightened importance in military planning, as operations in the theaters became more complex and widespread, the War Department sought to perfect methods of keeping the Washington staff in close touch with the overseas Army headquarters. War Department links with the theaters became further diversified and personalized.13 Face-to-face deliberations of officers from the War Department with theater commanders and their staffs supplemented communication through regular channels to speed the process of reaching decisions on debatable, complicated, and delicate problems. Personal visits of the Chief of Staff and his strategic advisers, becoming more frequent from early 1943 on, hastened the correlation of theater and inter-theater planning with decisions of the international conferences and with Washington military policies and plans.
Finally, in recognition of the fact that wartime military planning was inextricably involved with foreign policy, the Army planners intensified their efforts from the spring of 1943 onward to improve liaison with the White House and State Department.14 By and large, the Army remained preoccupied both before and after the spring of 1943 with the more strictly military aspects of national policy. This reflected staff acceptance of the code, on which it had been working since before the war, that civilian authorities determine the "what" of national policy and the military confine themselves to the "how" Yet it is also apparent that the fine line between foreign policy and military policy was becoming increasingly blurred as the war went on. The President felt compelled to take an active part in military affairs, and the Army staff found more and more that it could not keep foreign and political affairs out of its military calculations. It had become painfully clear to the staff since the summer of 1942 that political policy might not permit the armed forces to follow the quickest and most direct road to victory according to its lights. In fact, shortly before TRIDENT, General Wedemeyer concluded that the U.S. staff could not win British staff support for a major cross-Channel operation without "the full weight of national policy opposed to the British."15 The growing concern with political considerations was summed up by General Marshall, speaking for the JCS, in an appearance before a subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations two days before the conference opened. Denying that the U.S. military staff had discussed political matters at Casablanca, he went on to say, however, that "the thought of political matters" was "necessarily" continuously on their minds. The U.S. Chiefs were aware, he stated, of the "united front methods and ideas" presented by the British Chiefs of Staff, the Prime Minister, and the War Cabinet and were in process of organizing themselves to match the British at the forthcoming meetings. There was no doubt in his mind, he  

added, that the needs of military strategy should dominate the conduct of the war.16 Senator Arthur H. Vandenberg recorded his own impression of Marshall's testimony:
In deciding joint questions with the British, he [Marshall] said we were always handicapped by the fact that when the British come to a conference with an idea, it is completely developed to the last degree and has the completely integrated support of the British from Churchill down -including, frequently, a 'softening up' of our own American situation through the activity of all of the British 'Secretaries' here in Washington. He said that this often puts us at a disadvantage.17
The implications of Marshall's stand were clear. Better staff work behind the JCS and closer collaboration between the JCS and the President were needed to present and to win support for the American military case.
Though the forms that staff planning and liaison between the military authorities and their Commander in Chief assumed from the spring of 1943 onward remained essentially American, they reflected the impact of British patterns, models, and performance, which the Americans were attempting to match on more equal terms. The demands of coalition warfare in its offensive phase appeared to be making the comrades-in-arms more nearly similar in planning techniques and methods. Whether the U.S. staff would thereby be able more effectively to "sell" its strategic ideas to its partner in the Grand Coalition remained to be seen. In any event, on the eve of TRIDENT It was clear to the U.S. staff that, in order to gain and keep support for the American military case, greater attention would henceforth have to be paid to mastering the "tactics" of strategic planning.
In the readjustment of planning functions, Army planners were to capitalize on their broad, over-all vantage point in the Washington headquarters, on their influential links with the maturing joint and combined systems, and, above all, on their peculiar staff responsibilities to the Chief of Staff. The basis of their contributions in the planning hierarchy lay largely, as before, in advising on the deployment and employment of U.S. Army forces. In attempting to maintain the delicate balance of strength and resources between the European and Mediterranean theaters and between these areas and the Pacific and Far East, the Army staff planners in Washington continued directly or indirectly to exert a strong influence on over-all strategic thinking. Within the changing framework of strategic planning, they sought with renewed vigor, in the spring of 1943, once more to take the initiative and keep their planning ahead of the Chief of Staff's needs.
Strategy and the Manpower Problem
Behind their concern for an effective formulation and presentation of the  

American case at TRIDENT lay the growing uneasiness of General Marshall and his staff over the American manpower problem. To continue what appeared to them to be essentially a policy of drift in Allied strategy raised grave issues about mobilizing and deploying U.S. forces. To support a war of attrition and peripheral action, in place of concentrated effort, raised serious problems about the size and kind of Army the United States should and could maintain.
Back of the War Department's original proposal in early 1942 for concentrating forces in the British Isles lay its fundamental aim of committing the bulk of U.S. Army troops to one major front at a time, and thereby of realizing the advantages of long-range planning over a single major line of overseas communications. The presumption was that in order to defeat either Germany or Japan it would probably be necessary to defeat their forces on their home soil. For the War Department, the danger-in 1943 as in 1942-of opening and supporting additional fronts was to be measured not so much in terms of the combat units initially committed as in the terms of the ultimate effect on the employment of U.S. manpower and more specifically on the Army troop basis. Well aware how quickly military situations could change and how important it was to have uncommitted reserves, the planners had also regarded the forces built up in the British Isles in 1942 as a strategic reserve against a sudden turn of events on the Eastern Front. By early 1943 their fondest hopes had been disappointed and their worst fears were being realized. Not only were diversionary peripheral operations generating pressures of their own and sucking in more troops than originally anticipated, but, in the process, the margin of safety represented by the strategic reserve assembled in the United Kingdom had also been largely dissipated. At the same time the conviction was growing that it was finally becoming both necessary and possible to plan on a more realistic, long-range basis for mobilizing the manpower-and resources-needed to win the war. The transition to the initiative appeared to present the opportunity as well as the compulsion to define with greater certainty the main outlines of subsequent operations and to make more dependable estimates of how many trained and equipped units would be required.
To establish a proper manpower balance for the United States in wartime was as difficult as it was important. The absolute ceiling on the number of men physically fit for active military service was estimated to be between fifteen and sixteen million.18 On the surface it was hard to understand, in the light of the available manpower pool, why there should be any U.S. manpower problem at all. Why, if Germany could maintain a military establishment of 9,835,000 or 10.9 percent of her population and Britain could support 3,885,000 or 8.2 percent of hers, did the United States manpower officials insist in late 1942 that 10,500,000 or only 7.8 percent would be the maximum force that the country could sustain without incurring serious dislocation to the American economy? 19

The problem as well as the answer stemmed basically from the fact that the Allies had from the beginning accepted the proposition that the single greatest tangible asset the United States brought to the coalition in World War II was the productive capacity of its industry. From the very beginning, U.S. manpower calculations were closely correlated with the needs of war industry.
The Army had therefore to compete for manpower not only with the needs of the other services but also with the claims of industry. By 1943 the "arsenal of democracy," as the United States had come to be called, was just beginning to hit its full productive stride. To cut too deeply into the industrial manpower of the country in order to furnish men for the Army and Navy might interfere seriously with arming U.S. troops and those of the Allies for the successful conduct of the war. Furthermore, the United States was fighting a global conflict. To service its lines of communications extending around the world required large numbers of men, and great numbers of troops were constantly in transit to and from the theaters. To carry the fight across the oceans demanded a powerful Navy and large merchant fleet, which also had to be given a high priority for manpower. Each industry as well as each theater commander was continually calling for more men. The problem for the Army was not only how much should it receive for its share of the manpower pool but also how to divide that share most effectively to meet the diverse demands made upon it.
How to calculate the total strength as well as the combat divisions-"the cutting edge"-needed to win the war had long troubled military authorities. The computations made on the eve of the U.S. entry into the war and through 1942 had necessarily been little more than educated guesses. The unknown quantities were many, the strategic assumptions sometimes proving to be far wide of the mark. Through most of the first year of American participation in the war, the trend had been toward the rapid and, to a considerable degree, chaotic expansion of the various parts of the Military Establishment. Fluctuations in war plans, shipping, and other critical logistical factors, and the heavy requirements for building up numerous headquarters overseas had greatly affected the strategic deployment of the Army. The authorized troop basis for 1942 had been constantly exceeded and changed.20
Meanwhile, the progress of the war on the Soviet front and the prospective air bombardment over the European continent still left uncertain, at the end of 1942, the Army's ultimate size as well as the number of combat divisions necessary to win the war. It was still difficult to predict with exactitude the casualty rates to be expected and the amount of reserve strength needed to be built up. Postponement of the plan to launch a major cross-Channel operation made the need of mobilizing a large U.S. ground Army less immediate. Instead, greater emphasis was to be placed on first developing U.S. airpower. Given the anticipated limitations in shipping, it appeared at the end of 1942 that the projected deployment of a huge air force  

overseas by the end of 1944 would definitely restrict the number of divisions that could be sent overseas by that time. It was clearly undesirable to withdraw men from industry and agriculture too long before they could actually be employed in military operations. Allowing a year to train a division, the mobilization of much more than a hundred divisions by the end of 1943 appeared to be premature. In late 1942, moreover, procurement plans for the armed services for 1943, particularly for the Army ground program, were revised downward by the JCS in response to a War Production Board recommendation. All these limiting factors pointed to the need for scaling down previous long-range calculations, as well as for effecting economies in manpower within the Army.21
The process of reducing earlier long-range estimates, begun on the War Department and joint planning levels toward the end of 1942, was clearly reflected in the approved Army Troop Basis for 1943, circulated by G-3 in January of that year.22 This troop basis set the mobilization program for 1943 at 100 divisions. It called for a total Army strength of 8,208,000, a figure previously approved by the President. This troop basis marked the turning point in War Department and joint Army-Navy calculations. In place of limited objectives that would be greatly exceeded in time, these estimates were approaching the ultimate ceiling strengths of the Army.
Soon, however, the War Department began to foresee difficulties in meeting even the 100-division goal. At the beginning of 1943 divisions were moving overseas much less rapidly than had been anticipated. With ground units accumulating in the United States, the activation schedule for divisions was slowed down. The modification of the procurement program sharply curtailed production of both housing and equipment for U.S. troops in training. The decision to arm French troops with weapons of U.S. manufacture threatened to cut still further into equipment available for the U.S. forces. As a result, War Department authorities were greatly concerned by the spring of 1943 over the question of a balanced mobilization for the remainder of the year.23
At the same time, efforts to formulate troop bases for 1944 and beyond pointed to the need for drastic reductions in earlier estimates of ultimate air needs. The initial Victory Program, which represented the Army's most searching prewar examination of long-term strategy and requirements should the United States become involved in the global conflict, had assumed a total of

10, 199,101 men, including 213 divisions, for the Army alone by June 1944 24 Even as late as November 1942 the joint planners were estimating that 10,572,000 men would be needed for the Army by December 1944; the estimated number of divisions had risen to 334.25 When the requirements of the Navy, the Marine Corps, and the Coast Guard were also added, over-all totals were in excess of 13,000,000. A scaling down toward the lower figures advocated by the manpower chiefs was clearly necessary.
The planners were working from the bases of the late 1941 and early 1942 period, which assumed that the USSR might be defeated by the Germans, thus forcing on the Allies a far greater and more costly ground effort. Since the effects of the planned bomber offensive from the United Kingdom were also an unknown quantity, the planners had had to take its possible failure into consideration. Viewing the two factors pessimistically, it was inevitable the planners should produce high estimates envisaging a very large ground force. They calculated that it would be far easier to decrease an over-expanded army than it would be to build up an inadequate one, especially since it took a year to train a division for combat. Add to their dilemma the uncertainties of shipping and production and the lack of firm strategic decisions to guide them and it was small wonder that the planners were overshooting the mark.
The JCS, on the other hand, faced with criticism of their use of manpower, had realized that the planners' figures would not be accepted and had turned the manpower problem over to their senior advisers. The Joint Strategic Survey Committee concluded that the joint planners had gone astray in trying to match Allied forces, division for division, with the enemy. They held that proper consideration had been given neither to the relative efficiency of forces nor to prospective Allied air superiority and the effect of the bomber offensive on German morale and war effort. While recognizing that shipping would determine the amount of force that could be applied, they believed that Allied superiority in production would also be a controlling factor and should be exploited in every possible way.26
In line with this more optimistic outlook, the Army planners suggested that the most realistic approach to the manpower problem would be to agree upon the maximum number of men that could be inducted into the armed services without impairing the development of U.S. war production capacity. The figure would represent the final troop basis, and strategy would be devised in conjunction with it.27 Since the President in September 1942 had approved an army of 8,208,000 for 1943, 8,208,000 appeared to be the logical figure with which to work.28
By the end of 1942, most of the large force of unemployed existent in prewar days had been drawn into the ranks of the employed. This had served to cushion the rapid and large withdrawals

of able-bodied men for the services, but it was manifest that if the high induction rate were maintained much longer, the bottom of the barrel would have to be scraped. Congress had given agricultural workers a blanket deferment from the draft in November, thus cutting off one large source of supply, and local draft boards showed a constant disinclination to draft fathers into the service.29 Essential workers in war plants and in Government were also given special consideration. Some relief from the dwindling pool of manpower resources came when eighteen and nineteen year olds were made available in November, but they gave only temporary respite.30 Although increased use of women and Negroes, establishment of longer working hours, and improved efficiency in war plants eventually served to augment production, the manpower situation by early 1943 appeared grave.31
In January 1943, G-3 warned that the 8,208,000-man Army might approach the limit of manpower available and that some adjustments would have to be made from within to secure the kind of army needed to win the war.32 Faced with the prospects of a declining manpower reserve and an improving strategic situation, the Army decided to review its employment of men in the continental United States. During the same month Marshall set up the War Department Manpower Board, with Maj. Gen. Lorenzo D. Gasser as its president, to make specific recommendations for reducing the forces assigned to the zone of interior.33
Marshall regarded the work of the Gasser Board, which he had established as a manpower watchdog for the Army, as but a part of the effort to be made by all the services to conserve personnel. He advocated surveys by the JSSC of all garrisons in the Western Hemisphere, including Iceland, with a view to making defensive troops available for more active roles. The JCS endorsed his suggestion, and King indicated that he would look into various Navy shore installations that he believed were overmanned.34 The JSSC found that the strategic considerations demanding large garrisons in the Western Hemisphere during 1942 had altered sufficiently to permit personnel cuts on a wholesale

basis. Only in the Aleutians, Phoenix Fanning, and Tonga-Samoa Island groups should the status quo be preserved or small increases be made.35 Carrying out the JSSC recommendations, the Army was able to effect a savings of nearly 150,000 men by the end of 1943 and planned to recover more than 120,000 others by the end of 1944.36
In consonance with this economy drive, Marshall also approved-in February-a new Army troop basis that called for an enlisted strength of 7,500,000, including 150,000 WACs and between 120 and 125 divisions, for June 1944. The over-all goal for 1943 of 8,208,000, which included officers, was retained on the ground that such a force would be necessary to take advantage of any favorable opportunities that might come to pass.37 Defense of these manpower requirements before the Senate and against such critics as Herbert Hoover was made somewhat more difficult by the unofficial opposition of certain Navy officers.38
In early February there were actually five investigations going on in the Senate and one in the House on the subject of manpower. The position of the Army in the face of this Congressional probing rested upon the heavy preponderance of divisions at the disposal of the enemy and the possible disaster that might ensue if the size of the Army were reduced and the disparity in combat divisions increased.39 The War Department correctly gauged Congressional reaction at this juncture. Maj. Gen. Alexander D. Surles, Director of the War Department Bureau of Public Relations, put it succinctly: "Despite all talk, Congress isn't sure, and members will not risk their political necks by taking a position where they might be charged with sabotaging the war effort. They will talk, but they won't act." 40 In order to fortify its own thinking and planning on mobilization, the Army decided that it should also conduct an investigation.
The Bessell Committee
In accord with the earnest efforts of the Chief of Staff to trim Army requirements, the operations staff in February designated a special committee, headed by Colonel Bessell, to survey the current military program and to recommend changes indicated by shifting strategic conditions. The main question to be investigated by the committee concerned the efficacy of building up foreign forces -such as the Free French-as opposed to arming U.S. troops, and the possible effects of either alternative on the U.S. manpower situation and on Allied effi- 

ciency in prosecuting the war.41 This was a rephrasing of the thorny problem -how far to go in aiding Allies-that the Army planners had faced from the very beginning and were to continue to face.
The ensuing survey made by the committee revealed , that little could be gained by increasing the volume of international aid to the Allies at the expense of the development of U.S. forces. Equipping the manpower of various nations, other than the Soviet Union and Great Britain, with arms and munitions would not substantially increase the total amount of effective manpower that could be placed in combat, nor would it succeed in putting troops into combat more quickly than the current program for preparing U.S. troops for active service overseas. In regard to aircraft, the British could not man additional planes; plans had been made to take care of French needs; and there was no indication that the USSR could use heavy bombers effectively in her current circumstances. Beside these factors, any allocations to other nations would slow down the 273-air-group program-which had been approved in September 1942 and endanger adequate support of U.S. forces. The members of the committee felt that the aircraft, shipping, and U-boat problems should have top priority and recommended that the optimum over-all strength of 11,000,000 men should be reached as soon as possible.42 In effect, the United States was to continue its dual role in the war as the "arsenal of democracy" and a significant source of trained and equipped manpower.
The limiting factor in manpower would be the ability to replace civilian and military losses. The committee had accepted as reasonable the estimates of Col. Lewis Sanders of the Selective Service System that an armed strength of 10 million to 10.8 million could be maintained indefinitely without undue strain upon the nation and that a peak strength of 12 million could be kept in being for eighteen months if necessary, but would entail some disruption of civilian economy.43 In late April the Bessell Committee scaled down its estimates of the ultimate strength from 185 to 155 divisions and accepted an 8,200,000-man total as the ceiling figure for planning the "maximum strength" for the Army imposed by manpower limitations. It recommended that the U.S. Army, and especially the Air Forces, be developed to the maximum strength practicable within the estimated limitations on armed forces and be deployed as quickly as possible.44
Since the existing facilities in the United States allowed the training of sixty divisions a year, the committee recommended that the forces necessary for the defeat of Japan be established concurrently with those for the defeat of Germany but without prejudice to that objective. The 273-air-group program could be carried to completion by the late summer of 1944. It was essential, the committee believed, that every means, including the use of limited service personnel in supporting and service  

elements, be employed to produce maximum combat strength.
The committee concluded that the time had definitely come for long-term programing to guide the war machine that was developing in the United States. With adequate training for the Army requiring a year, mobilization and production had to be planned well in advance. Mobilization and production had, therefore, to be linked to national policy and strategic planning. The basic strategy of the United States was still sound and should be adhered to, and "any tendency to disperse our forces to other than the main effort [should] be avoided." What was required, the committee decided, was a broad and long-range strategic plan for the defeat of the enemies of the United States whereby requirements might be balanced against means and resources and then translated into a realistic military program. In this connection, the committee warned that the American public wearied quickly of war and would not countenance any slow process of attrition. 45
In April the need for careful manpower budgeting was further emphasized. Upon informing the services that approximately 1,500,000 men could be furnished to them in 1944, the War Manpower Commission stated that the figure would be close to the limit of the number of men that could be withdrawn from the manpower pool without jeopardizing war production, transportation, and essential civilian services. The Army estimated that by vigorous economy it would be able to save about 485,000 men during the balance of the year 1943. Since the Army-Navy requirements for replacements alone would run about 971,000 for 1944, there should be a cushion of about one million men to fill the need for new units and to meet emergencies. At this time the War Manpower Commission estimated 11,300,000 men, and the JPS 10,900,000, as the number that could be kept in uniform indefinitely. The JPS went so far as to recommend no increase in the Army for 1944 over the approved 1943 Army Troop Basis goals-8,200,000 total strength and 100 divisions (though the latter was already a somewhat dubious figure).46
The emphasis on re-examination and retrenchment that characterized the early months of 1943 was a natural result of the improved strategic situation of the Allies. Accenting the need for a significant change in the contemplated size and kind of Army required to defeat the enemy were the many pressures at home to reduce the large totals earlier projected by the services and to establish manpower ceilings for the armed forces. The efforts of the Army to cut back its own personnel needs were a clear indication of the trend toward economy and a portent of the leveling-off to come. Though the trend toward a final linking of manpower demands of the military with strategy, production, and manpower capabilities of the country was still in an

exploratory stage, the need for arranging the union was gaining strength.
To secure and maintain a manpower balance for the remainder of the war had become an all-important question.47 The military as well as civilian authorities recognized that no undue strain must be put on the American economy-central to the whole Allied war effort-by overdrafts on the manpower pool for military service. In this sense, the threat of overmobilization in the full tide of coalition war appeared as dangerous as undermobilization had once seemed in the earlier stages (and as too rapid a demobilization upon the war's conclusion would later appear). Though to the end of the war manpower officials would not be able to establish with any certainty absolute limits on American manpower capabilities for military or industrial purposes, relative limits at least were becoming clearer. Even before the entry of the 'United States into the war, the Army staff had conceived of the United States as the "final reserve of the democracies both in manpower and munitions"-a reserve to be conserved for "timely employment in a decisive theater and not dissipated by diversion in secondary theaters." 48
With retrenchment and economy now the watchwords in military policy, the Army staff was all the more reluctant to accept plans that might dissipate the combat forces in being or prevent the husbanding of a strategic reserve. Unless over-all strategy embodying the principle of concentration were made sufficiently firm and manpower and production requirements for victory were definitely tied to it, the staff feared the disarrangement of the American economy and a stalemate in the war.
By May there was every reason to believe that, as U.S. production bottlenecks and the U-boat menace were increasingly surmounted, the shipping shortage-the "limiting factor" in planning to date would in time be overcome. But the manpower problem was beginning to loom as an even more significant restriction on subsequent war planning and gave a powerful stimulus to the U.S. staff for putting long-range strategic plans on a firm basis once and for all.
The Army planners were therefore urging, on the eve of TRIDENT, the matching of long-range mobilization and logistical plans with long-range strategic plans.49 In that way they hoped to achieve an equilibrium in the programs of production and mobilization in the United States and in the distribution of forces and means among the theaters for the stepped-up operational phase of the war. To strike a proper balance among strategic plans, manpower, and other resources for victory in the global combat, fundamental decisions would first have to be reached with the British.
Preparations and Rehearsal for TRIDENT
To meet the "always well-prepared British" on more even terms, the JCS directed the joint Staff Planners on 27

April to prepare outline plans of "all reasonable courses of action" that might follow HUSKY. U.S. strategic planners JSSC as well as OPD-were urging that the time had come to merge the strategic concept for 1943 with that for 1944 and that the probable courses of action be studied to provide the JCS with plans for the approaching conference. Accepting as unquestioned the Allied objective of defeating Germany decisively and as quickly as possible, the U.S. Chiefs of Staff called for special emphasis to be given to planning for cross-Channel operations.50
In the hectic days that followed in late April and early May-before the British arrived-the Army planners in and out of the newly developing joint staff machinery were exchanging views, preparing data, and formulating plans for the meetings. Especially revealing was an exchange of ideas that took place between the War Department planners and the JSSC on an estimate of the global strategic situation-an exchange of which the Chief of Staff had knowledge.
On the Army side, the operations staff's Strategy Section maintained that 1943-44 would be the "decisive period of the war." The mobilized and trained manpower of the United States would reach its peak in 1944, and most major items would be in full-scale production in the United States by early 1944- On the other hand, Great Britain was already mobilized to the hilt; the bulk of its forces would shortly be fully trained and equipped for offensive action; and its productive capacity could be expected to increase only slightly. To defeat Germany it was necessary to retain the USSR, still containing the bulk of the German forces, as an active participant in the war. The Strategy Section felt that the Germans would probably attempt to resume the offensive against the Soviet Union at the earliest practicable moment, while holding to the defensive on other fronts. The outcome of the conflict on the Eastern Front would be the determining factor in estimating the military situation that might exist in 1944.
The course of action to be undertaken after HUSKY, according to the Strategy Section, would be largely determined not only by Soviet versus German capabilities but also by the effectiveness of the Combined Bomber Offensive. On the Allied side, the rapid development and application of airpower was regarded as the most encouraging feature of the war effort to date. Air superiority, which was being won in practically all areas, would increase even more rapidly in the months to come. If properly coupled with other undertakings, it could be made the most effective strategic weapon of the Allies.
The Army planners echoed the fundamental War Department faith in a major cross-Channel operation at the same time that they revealed their caution toward continued operations in the Mediterranean. In their opinion forces could be built up in the United Kingdom to initiate cross-Channel operations on a small scale late in 1944, but the operations could not reach major proportions  

before the spring of 1945. Difficulties of terrain and logistics made a cross-Mediterranean approach to the Continent less desirable than an attack via the Channel. They were prepared to admit that by continuing limited offensives in the Mediterranean in 1943 the Allies could contain strong Axis ground and air forces and possibly cause diversions from the Soviet front. The OPD planners therefore left the way open for accepting further Mediterranean offensives, though their position on post-HUSKY Mediterranean operations was by no means clear-cut. Without interfering with prospective operations in the European-Mediterranean area, the Allies in 1943-44 could and should neutralize the German U-boats, increase the bomber offensive against Germany, and furnish munitions to the USSR and the French in North Africa.
The Army planners called for adherence to the basic strategic aim of defeating Germany before Japan, so long as the USSR remained effectively in the war. In the event of the defeat of the USSR in Europe, however, the planners advocated the application of the "Pacific Alternative"-which had been advanced by them on various occasions since early 1942. In that case the Allies should reverse their basic strategic concept, secure their positions in the European-Mediterranean area, and wage an all-out offensive against Japan. In line with their recommendation that the main effort for 1943 be made in the European-Mediterranean area, they urged that operations in the Pacific-Asiatic area be restricted to limited offensives designed to retain the initiative and intensify the attrition of Japanese shipping and air resources. Operations in that area should be in line with whatever plan the Allies adopted for the ultimate defeat of Japan. Meanwhile, the continued participation of China in the war must be insured by furnishing to it the maximum supplies and air support possible.51
In general the JSSC agreed with the Army planners' conclusions and recommendations. General Embick indicated that he, too, was inclined to believe that 1943 would indicate the direction, if not produce an actual decision, in the Russo-German conflict. The result would, he agreed, improve or preclude the chances of an effective Anglo-American invasion of the Continent. If the premises were correct, however, added weight should be given to the possibilities of the air offensive as advanced, by General Fairchild, the Air member of the JSSC. General Fairchild held that the Allies would be able to support the USSR most effectively during the critical summer months of 1943 by avoiding all further commitments in the Mediterranean and by concentrating the available resources in the United Kingdom. On the basis of his optimistic estimate of the effectiveness of the Combined Bomber Offensive in 1943 and early 1944, he felt that the way could be paved for decisive operations against Germany in 1944 rather than 1945.52

Events were soon to show that General Marshall was much impressed by the air argument. It was to furnish him with valuable support in advancing the case for a full-scale cross-Channel offensive in 1944 and for relying more on air forces and less on ground troops in Mediterranean operations.
Meanwhile, the operations staff was sifting into the joint planning mill its plans for post-HUSKY operations. The dilemma confronting the Army planners in reconciling long-term strategic aims with short-term capabilities and opportunities in the war against Germany came to the fore. On 3 May General Hull, Acting Assistant Chief of Staff, OPD, acquainted General Marshall with the fact that alternative proposals he had just submitted to the joint planners on post-HUSKY operations represented a difference of views within his staff. His planners, desirous as they were of a major operation across the Channel, were in favor of a plan calling for limited post-HUSKY operations in the Mediterranean. He himself did not agree. His preference was for the alternative-no further advance in the Mediterranean after HUSKY and a concentration of forces in the United Kingdom for a cross-Channel operation in 1944.53
Out of the joint staff planning mill in early May came a series of specific proposals and suggested courses of action for the joint Chiefs to follow. Working hurriedly and under great pressure to reconcile conflicting views among U.S. military planners, the newly created JWPC developed outline plans, studies, and recommendations that, upon approval at higher inter-service levels, were merged into a pattern of strategic objectives acceptable to the JCS for the conduct of the war in 1943-44 54 In May the JCS approved, for submission to the President, a proposed line of action to be followed by the United States at the coming conference.
The Joint Chiefs emphasized the importance of considering strategic concepts beyond 1943. The U.S. representatives must emphasize the close relationship between the war in Europe and that against Japan. For the United States, a progressively intensified air effort in preparation for the cross-Channel operation, followed by the cross-Channel operation itself in 1944, should constitute the basic strategy against Germany, and its fulfillment must not be delayed or jeopardized by other operations. But the JCS recognized, as had the various Army and joint planning committees, that there were certain merits in operations in the western Mediterranean immediately after HUSKY-to maintain the momentum of HUSKY, utilize resources in 

the area, furnish support to the USSR, and threaten southern France and Italy. U.S. representatives must be prepared to discuss western Mediterranean operations as an "alternative or compromise," provided any such operation involved a reduction rather than an increase of Allied strength committed to the area, supported the Combined Bomber Offensive, and did not interfere with the cross-Channel operation. U.S. representatives were to emphasize that such operations were acceptable primarily as emergency undertakings in support of the USSR. Tentatively, the occupation of Sardinia was regarded as more acceptable than other Mediterranean possibilities. Sardinia would draw less from resources needed for concentration in the United Kingdom. The United States must not become involved in operations east of Sicily, except possibly for special air operations. Eastern Mediterranean operations would absorb resources needed for the cross-Channel attack and for operations against Japan; would lead to difficult problems of logistics in an area lacking suitable routes to the decisive theater of war; would arouse Soviet suspicions as to the future of the Dardanelles; and would be difficult to maintain in popular acceptance in the United States, particularly in view of the continuing threat in the Pacific. If the British insisted on ground operations east of Sicily, they would have to proceed alone.
In the event the British insisted on Mediterranean commitments that in American opinion would jeopardize the early defeat of Germany and the ultimate defeat of Japan, the U.S. representatives were to inform the British that the United States might be compelled to revise its basic strategy and extend its operations and commitments in the Pacific. The JCS expected the British to deprecate the importance of the effort against Japan and the necessity for supporting China. Specifically, in the war against Japan, the JCS approved ANAKIM. If the British refused to support ANAKIM, or ANAKIM otherwise proved impracticable and no satisfactory alternative could be agreed upon, then the United States must expand and intensify its operations in the Pacific in order to offset Japanese gains resulting from failure to support China adequately.55
Also on 8 May the JCS, who had had preliminary discussions with the President and Harry Hopkins at the White House just a few days before, held their final meeting with the President in preparation for the conference. Admiral Leahy has since recorded that at that meeting:
It was determined that the principal objective of the American Government would be to pin down the British to a cross-Channel invasion of Europe at the earliest practicable date and to make full preparations for such an operation by the spring of 1944.
Less decisive and far-reaching appeared the agreement on operations in the China-Burma-India theater:
I recommended to the President that he grant Chiang Kai-shek's request to use all available air transport in the next three months to send aviation material from India to China, but I had no support from the other Chiefs of Staff. The decision for the moment was to try to send essential 

equipment to both the air and ground forces 56
The President decided to unite with his staff in seeking British support for an early cross-Channel operation. This was one of the most far-reaching decisions of the war. His motives for taking the step at this time are still difficult to determine. The unusual bareness of the record, added to the usual "fog of war," in this case descending over the action of a complex, flexible personality, whose motivation is difficult even at best to assay with any certainty, shrouds the decision in mystery.57 Was it the fact that the President's military staff was showing a disposition to accept a continued, if limited, advance in the Mediterranean region in which he had always shown an interest secondary only to that of the Prime Minister? And was he thereby given a welcome pawn with which to trade in order to bring the British to terms? Was it that he was awakened by his staff to the danger of continuing a war of attrition and peripheral action-a long, drawn-out conflict or stalemate that might in the process endanger plans and dreams, already forming in his mind, for a brave new world after the war? Was he impressed by arguments on the necessity for long-term versus short-term planning in the conduct of the war? Did the exponents of airpower turn the tide? Had he become strongly impressed with the need of getting on with the war against Japan? Or was it, as is quite likely, a combination of all these factors, whose end product in strategic terms-a cross-Channel "power-drive"-fitted his unconditional surrender formula announced at Casablanca?
Certainly with the impetus the President had given the unconditional surrender concept, and with the encouragement he had given his staff to work along the lines of the cross-Channel attack, he had already indicated that he would be behind it. The time for the decision was the question on which he had hitherto disagreed with his staff. In 1942 he had hazarded the opinion that it might not even be necessary to beat Japan. By the spring of 1943 the Allies had, in the American view, poured about as much as they could into the Mediterranean without getting into trouble. It was no longer a question of waiting for the development of U.S. power; that power was available. The problem was what to do with it. In short, the arguments had practically all been advanced before, but the circumstances, it may be conjectured, now seemed appropriate for the President to accept the arguments and to crystallize the world-wide effort in these terms.
Whatever the effective pressures upon the President and whatever his motive, the U.S. delegates entered the conference united on cross-Channel operations. A year of deviations and diversions had passed since the President's military advisers had first set out with his blessings to win British support for the plan for an early major attack against northwest Europe (the so-called Marshall Memorandum of April 1942). At last the President and his staff were firmly united in trying to pin the British down to such a decision and plan.


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