Chapter VIII: 
Crossroads in the European War
The period between TRIDENT and QUADRANT (from the end of May to mid-August 1943) saw the kindling of high hopes. It also brought discouragement and even despair to the Army planners. It was apparent that the question of how far to go in the Mediterranean was still very much alive. Assuming the collapse or surrender of Italy, what was to be the limit of the advance? When, where, and how was the Mediterranean drive to be cut off? Above all, could operations in the Mediterranean be prevented from drawing off precious resources and vital manpower from a cross-Channel operation in 1944? General Marshall had tried to solve the larger problem with his proposal for a Naples operation, but the expressed desire behind it-to get to Rome-on which both American and British staffs could agree in July, served only to highlight a divergence in views as to the reasons for getting there and whether to go further. Growing indications that the British and Americans had still not resolved their differences over European strategy made the Army planners increasingly uneasy and bore out the contention of General Marshall and his staff that the Allies were indeed at the "crossroads" in the war.
Search for the Formula Continued
The Americans and British looked at the role of operations in Italy in grand strategy though different spectacles. The Americans-including Stimson, Marshall, his staff, and the other joint Chiefs feared an entanglement in Italy that would compromise the cross-Channel assault. They wished a short Italian campaign with limited objectives-air bases to supplement the Combined Bomber Offensive against southern Germany, and enough action to tie down German strength. The additional air bases in Italy promised to offset the limitations of weather and distance inherent in air attacks from the United Kingdom and of increased German air defenses in north Germany, which had brought Eaker's losses close to the danger point. To gain their end, the Allies need not and should not go much farther north than Rome. There must be no further diversions of forces or mat6riel to the Mediterranean that would interfere with mounting the cross-Channel operation. The Americans wanted Allied operations in the Mediterranean to be justified henceforth by their contributions to the success of the cross-Channel undertaking. The U.S. staff was fearful of the grim 

prospect of a slow, costly march "up the leg" of Italy.
On the other hand, the British conception-urged by Churchill-was to press forcefully the campaign against Italy at the least to Rome, preferably as much farther north as possible. Then advantage should be taken of any opportunities that might be opened thereby in the Mediterranean and in southern Europe. The British argued that the success of the cross-Channel operation would thus be all the more certain.
To the Americans this presaged a drive up the boot and an invasion of the Continent from the south-in the direction of the Balkans, Greece, or possibly even southern France. Far from aiding the cross-Channel operation, the Americans feared, such an operation in Italy might actually supplant it. Certainly, the Prime Minister's penchant for the Mediterranean was well known. His interest in support of raids and guerrilla activities in the Balkans was not new to the Americans. More disturbing was the report filtering back to Washington that there was some strong support in British official circles-notable by Foreign Minister Anthony Eden-for invasions of Greece and the Balkans. Whether the Prime Minister was actually prepared to go so far is a moot point. What is less debatable is that he still appeared to have reservations about the projected 1944 cross-Channel operation. Stimson, in his talk with Churchill, was so disturbed when the Prime Minister launched into a "new attack" on ROUNDHAMMER-Churchill once again expressed his fears of a Channel full of Allied corpses-that, as Stimson reported to Washington, "we had it hammer and tongs."1
The Americans were also concerned over the possibility of becoming heavily committed on the Iberian Peninsula. Leahy, for whom among the U.S. Chiefs the Iberian route appears to have had most appeal, has recorded that on 23 June the JCS and the President, with Hopkins present, took up the question of an invasion through Spain instead of across the Channel.2 This consideration grew out of the problem of providing a defense for Portugal should that country declare war on the Axis following an Allied occupation of the Azores. The British staff, as the U.S. military planners knew, was then planning for the occupation of the Azores, peacefully if possible, by force if necessary.3
The Army strategic planners had long ago rejected the Iberian route as a feasible approach to bring Hitler to bay, but the question of aiding a prospective ally on the Iberian Peninsula was a more difficult one for them. In answer to a query from the President, General Marshall and his staff planners acknowledged that a peaceful occupation of the Azores would obligate the United States and Great Britain to furnish military assistance to Portugal in the event Portugal decided to join the Allies. At the 

same time, Marshall advised the President that, for the moment at least, a Portuguese declaration of war should be discouraged. He strongly urged upon the President that "the British be given no opportunity [thereby] to get out of doing OVERLORD."4  Adhering to the desirability of the cross-Channel route, the President accepted the Army's cautious stand on embroilment on the Iberian Peninsula and so informed the Prime Minister at the close of June.5
Wary as ever, the Washington Army planners continued the search for a formula to ensure the primacy of a major cross-Channel operation. Perhaps the most outspoken was General Wedemeyer, who wrote from the North African theater to General Handy in Washington, shortly before the opening of the Sicilian campaign:
Even though Husky is successful after a bitter struggle, we could never drive rampant up the boot, as the P. M. so dramatically depicts in his concept of our continued effort over here. However, if we do decide to continue operations directly against Italy, greatly increased resources than those now envisaged or available in the area, would be mandatory-to insure our position in the western Mediterranean and concurrently to provide sufficient punch in our blow against Italy proper. ROUNDHAMMER would be even more remote, in fact, maybe crossed off the books for 1944. If we could only convince our cousins that this European theater struggle will never be won by dispersing our forces around the perimeter of the Axis citadel. I lay in bed the past several nights trying to evolve an overall concept of winning the war in Europe-one that would stir the imagination and win the support of the P. M. if not that of his recalcitrant planners and chiefs of staff. There are three general approaches to the problem [cross-Channel, Mediterranean, air bombardment and blockade] and of course there could be various combinations and permutations of these.6
The Mediterranean Alternative
Some Army planners soon began to question whether there might actually be any longer a complete freedom of choice among the three approaches. The gnawing doubts came to light during the early summer of 1943 as the War Department continued to study the course of Allied action for 1944-45.  General Wedemeyer and members of his Strategy Section had taken the familiar Army position in favor of a cross-Channel operations, supported by Mediterranean operations limited to forces and resources already in the area. If exploitation of Mediterranean operations prevented the projected cross-Channel operation from being mounted in the spring of 1944 the Allies would, in the planners' opinion, have to decide whether to reverse the long-accepted strategic concept of beating Germany first.7 On 17 July-one

LT. GEN. JOHN E. HULL, Chief of the Operations Division Theater Group. (Photograph taken August, 1945.)
LT. GEN. JOHN E. HULL, Chief of the Operations Division Theater Group. (Photograph taken August, 1945.)
week after HUSKY was launched-General Hull, chief of the OPD Theater Group, striking a far less familiar note in Army planning, registered disagreement. He argued that current Allied success in the Mediterranean had to be exploited and that such a course of action could be accomplished only at the expense of the build-up in the United Kingdom, thereby materially affecting any possible cross-Channel operation for 1944. He declared "it is a case where you cannot have your cake and eat it."8 In his opinion, the decision lay not between Europe and the Pacific but between Mediterranean and cross-Channel operations. Pointing to the apparently inexorable necessity of sending more and more Allied forces to the Mediterranean, he reasoned that any further operations there would definitely commit the Allies to a main effort in that area.
General Hull had been a devoted supporter of the BOLERO-ROUNDUP plan from its inception in the spring of 1942 and even as late as the eve of TRIDENT had taken a strong stand in favor of concentrating on all-out operations from the United Kingdom. What seemed to be a reversal in his views at this point was therefore all the more notable. That he was impelled by practical considerations following from the continued commitment of the "not unlimited" Allied resources to the Mediterranean rather than by a basic change in his strategic faith is suggested in his conclusion:  Although from the very beginning of this war, I have felt that the logical plan for the defeat of Germany was to strike at her across the channel by the most direct route, our commitments to the Mediterranean have led me to the belief that we should now reverse our decision and pour our resources into the exploitation Of Our Mediterranean operations . . . . A decision as to how we conduct the war against Japan and against Germany should no longer be delayed . . . . As to Germany, in my opinion, the decision should be an all-out effort in the Mediterranean.9
In effect, General Hull thus proposed to add a Mediterranean alternative to the familiar "Pacific Alternative" that Army planners and the JCS had advocated at various times since early 1942. General  

Hull's proposal sounded a discouraged note in the hope of fulfilling the basic tenet of Army wartime strategic faith an early and decisive invasion of the Continent from the United Kingdom. Taken in the context of the state of Allied strategic planning, his views of 17 July appear, in retrospect, less surprising. After almost a year and a half of discussions, the Allies had still not reached a firm agreement on a plan for cross-Channel operations. On the other hand, the strong pull to the Mediterranean appeared to confirm the oft-expressed fears of the Army planners that the inevitable result would be a major effort against Germany from the Mediterranean rather than from the United Kingdom.
In late July the same sense of frustration was seeping into the comments of other military planners. Col. Voris H. Conner, analyzing the costs of the failure to carry out the BOLERO-ROUNDUP Concept, pointed to the fact that there was insufficient strength in either the Mediterranean or the United Kingdom for decisive action.10 Colonels Bessell and Richard C. Lindsay, the senior Army and Air members of the JWPC, reported on 25 July that the Allies had hitherto been "long on lip service but short on results." At successive conferences tile Americans had been gradually led into a postponement of ROUNDUP and acceptance of "a time-consuming strategy of pecking at the periphery of Europe."11 They felt that the United States had been "outmaneuvered" by the British at the conferences because British aims were clear-cut and understood by all their representatives. The British, Bessell and Lindsay continued, were more interested in the restoration of the "balance of power in Europe" in the postwar period than in the early defeat of Germany. They drew a sharp contrast between original plans and actual results in the build-up against Germany. When the Americans and British had first agreed upon ROUNDUP, it had been estimated that the United States could have over a million men (17 divisions and 59 air groups) and 4,000 airplanes in the United Kingdom by April 1943. Actually, by 1 April 1943 the United States had in the United Kingdom only 109,137 troops (one division and 12 3/4 air groups) and 873 planes; even on 1 July there were only 185,532 men (one division and a little over 26 air groups) and 1,841 planes. In the meantime, by 1 July, the United States had built up a force of 520,087 troops (9 divisions, 39 air groups) and 4,087 planes in the Mediterranean area.12
Bessell and Lindsay went on to recommend that the United States recognize that the main ground pressure against Germany had in the past been applied by the Soviet Union and that this would probably hold true in the future. The United States and Great Britain should continue to use their air and sea power.  

against Germany and also continue to plan for an OVERLORD operation "which will take advantage of a marked deterioration in Germany ability to defend Western Europe." BOLERO should continue, but without prejudice to the immediate Mediterranean objective-the elimination of Italy. In other words, Bessell and Lindsay concluded, Italy should be knocked out of the war first and then the cross-Channel operation should become the main U.S.-British effort. If the British would not agree to this, the United States should halt its contribution of forces to the Mediterranean, after Italy had been eliminated, and concentrate on defeating Japan.13
That Bessell and Lindsay were tending to give the old "Pacific Alternative" a new Mediterranean twist became clearer the next day when they joined the Navy member of the JWPC in recommending an even stronger stand on future Mediterranean operations. Protesting that the TRIDENT decision to transfer seven combat divisions from the Mediterranean to the United Kingdom was unsound, the JWPC recommended that the pressure in Italy against the Germans be maintained throughout the winter. Arguing that the TRIDENT plans for an opportunistic invasion of northwest Europe were still valid, they nevertheless advised that the ground build-up in the United Kingdom should not be allowed to prejudice operations in Italy.14
Admiral Cooke of the Joint Staff Planners supported the JWPC. He felt that the cross-Channel operation for 1944 (OVERLORD) was predicated on too many contingencies and might never be undertaken. In his opinion, the undertaking should not be kept on a preferred status but should be reduced to an opportunistic operation that would not divert resources from the more certain operations in the Mediterranean and Pacific.15 Strong opposition, on the other hand, was voiced by General Wedemeyer to any shift in emphasis to the Mediterranean. Together with Brig. Gen. Laurence S. Kuter, the Air planner, he flatly stated that conditions had not changed sufficiently "to justify on sound military grounds the renunciation of the TRIDENT concept." Wedemeyer and Kuter also attacked a modified JWPC proposal to transfer only three of the seven divisions from the Mediterranean and came out firmly for holding fast to the U.S. position on the primacy of the cross-Channel invasion taken at TRIDENT. With Cooke and Bessell defending the JWPC stand, this controversy among the planners had to be settled by the JCS.
The challenge in late July and early August to their basic strategic faith was one sign of uneasiness among the U.S. planners over the. course of Allied strategy. Nevertheless, there were bright as well as dark spots on the horizon. Fresh hope was soon offered to General Hull and the rest of the Washington Army staff that the Allies might yet be able to agree on and execute a major cross-Channel operation. The revival

of hope stemmed from the development of the OVERLORD plan by General Morgan's combined planning staff (COSSAC) in the United Kingdom.16 Growing directly out of the TRIDENT decision to plan for a cross-Channel operation (ROUNDHAMMER), the outline plan for OVERLORD was completed by the COSSAC staff in July and submitted for the consideration of the U.S. staff in Washington on 5 August-shortly before the QUADRANT Conference.17
The OVERLORD plan was a culmination of British and American planning for early and decisive cross-Channel operations from the United Kingdom. The seeds Of OVERLORD had been planted in the War Department's BOLERO-ROUNDUP plan (Marshall Memorandum) of the spring of 1942; they were sedulously nurtured by the U.S. staff-notably by General Marshall and his advisers-during the remainder of 1942 and in early 1943 and had begun to bear fruit in the Allied decision at TRIDENT for ROUNDHAMMER. In preparing the OVERLORD plan, General Morgan and his staff were definitely limited by CCS directive as to the number of forces and resources with which they could plan the assault-in line with the compromise of Anglo-American strategic views at TRIDENT. On the other hand, they had the advantage of being able to draw upon the valuable experience the Allies had gained in air and ground action against the Western Axis in the European-Mediterranean area since the spring of 1942, when Marshall took the Army's plan to London. In the period between the introduction of the ROUNDUP and OVERLORD plans, the Allies had come to a fuller appreciation of the potentialities of airpower as a tactical and strategic weapon; important lessons had been learned in amphibious warfare; U.S. troops and equipment had been tested in major operations under fire; and practical experience in the conduct of Allied operations under the principle of unified command had been acquired. At the same time, a more realistic estimate of enemy as well as Allied capabilities could be made on the basis of performances in combat. The OVERLORD plan provided for a cross-Channel operation against the Continent to be mounted and executed from the United Kingdom with the target date of 1 May 1944. The lodg-  

ment area, the COSSAC planners decided, would have to contain sufficient port facilities to maintain a force of some twenty-six to thirty divisions as well as follow-up shipments from the United States and elsewhere of additional divisions and supporting units at the rate of three to five divisions per month, the number allocated for planning purposes at TRIDENT. The planners accepted the beaches in the Caen area of Normandy as the most suitable for the initial assault and proposed to expand the lodgment first by seizing the port of Cherbourg on the Cotentin Peninsula, next the ports of the Brittany Peninsula and Nantes, and then building up forces and supplies for the final advance eastward. The Caen area was defined as the sector between the River Orne and the base of the Cotentin Peninsula and was partly selected on the grounds that the sector was weakly held, the defenses were relatively light, and the beaches were of good capacity and sheltered from the prevailing winds. The terrain inland was suitable, the COSSAC planners believed, for airfield development and consolidation of the initial bridgehead, and unsuitable for counteraction by panzer divisions. Enemy air opposition directed at the Caen area, moreover, could only be made at the expense of the air defense of the approaches to Germany, and enemy airfields in range of Caen were limited. On the other hand, the COSSAC planners noted that the Caen area was distant from the Allied bases and that time would elapse before a major port could be captured and put into operation. The planners therefore sought to offset these disadvantages by incorporating the principles of concentration and tactical surprise and by improvising means to insure adequate maintenance over the beaches.
The OVERLORD plan divided the cross-Channel operation into a number of phases: "the preliminary," "the preparatory," "the assault," "the follow-up and build-up," and "further developments after capture of Cherbourg." In the preliminary phase, which was to begin immediately, German resistance was to be softened by propaganda and sabotage and by air action to reduce German air forces on the Western Front, to destroy progressively the German economic system, and to undermine German morale. In this stage, diversionary operations against Pas-de-Calais and the Mediterranean coast of France were planned in order to keep as many German forces from the Caen area as possible.
In the preparatory phase, Allied air forces were to intensify their attacks on German communications so as to isolate further the Caen area from reinforcements by the enemy forces. At the same time, three naval assault forces were to be loaded at ports along the south coast of England, and two follow-up forces were to be loaded elsewhere-one in the Thames estuary and one on the west coast of England. In the assault phase, after a very short air bombardment, the Allies were to land three divisions plus two tank regiments and a regimental combat team simultaneously on the Caen beaches, and airborne troops were to seize the town of Caen. Subsequently, in the follow-up and build-up phase the Allies, directing their action southward and southwestward, were to pivot into the Cotentin Peninsula and drive toward Cherbourg, and at the same time make a thrust southeast of Caen to deepen the bridgehead.  

COSSAC planners envisaged the capture of Cherbourg by D plus 14. By that date eighteen divisions were to be ashore and some twenty-eight to thirty-three squadrons of aircraft in operation from airfields in the captured area. They expressed the belief that after the fall of Cherbourg the Germans would probably withdraw to defend the Seine-Paris-Loire line and that it would probably be most profitable for the Allies, under cover of operations against Chartres, Orleans, and Tours, to seize the Breton ports and Nantes in order to build up sufficient strength before trying to force the passage of the Seine. This action would secure enough major ports to maintain at least thirty divisions. As soon as the line of communications permitted and sufficient air forces had been established in France, operations would be begun to force the line of the Seine and to capture Paris and the Seine ports.
In their analysis of the main limiting factors likely to determine the success of the OVERLORD operations, the COSSAC planners emphasized such considerations as control of the air, the number of divisions the enemy could make available for counterattack in the Caen area, availability of landing ships and craft and transport aircraft, and the capacity of the beaches and ports in the sector. To have a reasonable chance of success, the operation would require the reduction of overall German fighter strength and the prevention of German air reinforcements from arriving in the early stages of the operation. It would be particularly necessary to reduce the total strength of the German fighter force between the current time (summer of 1943) and the date of the operation by the destruction of the sources of supplies, by initiating air battles, and by disorganizing the German air forces' installations and control system in the Caen area immediately before the assault.
Apart from the establishment of a favorable air situation-the "overriding factor" for the success of the plan-the COSSAC planners held that the practicability of the plan depended principally on the number, availability, and strength of the German divisions present in France and the Low Countries in comparison with Allied capabilities. The number of German offensive reserve forces available on D Day in France and the Low Countries as a whole, excluding divisions holding the coast and training divisions, must not exceed twelve full-strength, first-rate divisions. In addition, the Germans must not be able to transfer more than fifteen first-rate divisions from the USSR by D plus 60. The Allies would have to make every effort during the preliminary period, therefore, to scatter and divert the German ground forces, lower their fighting efficiency, and disrupt their communications.
Since there was no port of any appreciable capacity in the Caen sector, Allied logistical support would have to be landed largely over the beaches until the port of Cherbourg was captured and opened. Maintenance would arrive over the beaches for as much as three months for some units. Artificial means would have to be devised to provide sheltered waters, and special equipment and facilities would be required to prevent craft from being damaged during this period. Landing craft and ships were available, the COSSAC planners noted, to lift three assault and two follow-up divisions without "overhead." While beaches in the  

Caen area would preclude landing more than the three assault and two follow-up divisions envisaged for the initial land operation, an additional lo percent in landing ships and craft would be highly desirable. Though over two airborne divisions would be available, it would be possible for the United States and United Kingdom to lift only two thirds of one airborne division simultaneously on the basis of current forecasts of available transport aircraft. Also, the COSSAC planners suggested that administrative control of the operation would be greatly simplified if the principle were accepted that the U.S. forces would normally be located on the right of the line and the British and Canadian forces on the left.18
The assumptions, emphases, and conclusions in the COSSAC OVERLORD plan of the summer of 1943, differing from those contained in War Department BOLERO-ROUNDUP plan of the spring of 1942, reflected in part a refinement of detail in specific proposals. More important, they reflected fundamental changes in the general Allied strategic situation in the war, new knowledge of Allied capabilities in combat and of the possibilities and requirements of amphibious and aerial warfare, and limitations imposed and opportunities offered by the course of action upon which the United States and United Kingdom had embarked in the Mediterranean in late 1942 and continued in 1943.
The War Department BOLERO-ROUNDUP plan had been born in a period when the Allies were still reeling under the weight of Axis blows and seeking to parcel out their limited resources in piecemeal defensive deployments all over the globe. There were grave doubts that the USSR would be able, without help, to continue to withstand the German attack. The Army planners had sought to embody in their plan the concept of concentrating Allied forces for a major combined offensive in which the United States and Great Britain, from the United Kingdom in the west, and the USSR, from the east, could employ their forces to crush Germany between them on the continent of Europe. They sought thereby to afford maximum support to the USSR and at the same time to utilize the United Kingdom-representing in their view an ideal base logistically-as the springboard for an Anglo-American attack on northwest France. In the spring of 1942 they had argued for the concept, furthermore, on the ground that it would provide the basic decision necessary for directing all U.S. production and allocation, training, and troop movements toward a single goal, and would also make veterans of U.S. air and ground forces untested as yet in major combat operations.
The OVERLORD plan, on the other hand, was conditioned by the fact that the British and U.S. Governments had decided in July 1942 to seize the initiative in North Africa and were successfully continuing the offensive in the Mediterranean upon which they had embarked in the TORCH operation in November 1942. Thus the COSSAC plan-  

ners had to take into account limitations in forces and resources imposed by previous instructions and decisions of the Allied high command. The estimated maximum of thirty divisions likely to be available in the United Kingdom for an invasion of the Continent by 1 May 1944 was considerably less than the anticipated employment of forty-eight divisions in the ROUNDUP plan for a main attack in the spring of 1943. By the same token, however, the successful action of the United States and Great Britain in the Mediterranean offered the opportunity, the COSSAC planners pointed out in the OVERLORD plan, for "diversionary operations" against the "Mediterranean coast of France" to create conditions favorable for the cross-Channel undertaking.19
The OVERLORD plan, moreover, prepared in a period when the USSR was demonstrating its ability to withstand the German blows, omitted the emergency phase of the BOLERO-ROUNDUP plan designed in part to keep the USSR in the war. BOLERO-ROUNDUP had stressed the necessity of air preparations and adequate air superiority to insure the success of the ground operation and had outlined an air-ground cross-Channel undertaking in general terms. For OVERLORD, the COSSAC planners were able to draw upon the greater knowledge of and experience with airpower as a tactical and strategic weapon accumulated by the British and Americans since the spring of 1942. In particular, the COSSAC planners were able to weave into OVERLORD the objectives of the Combined Bomber Offensive program, which, in terms of its relationship to the cross-Channel operation, had been defined in concrete phases and accepted by the CCS at TRIDENT.
The BOLERO-ROUNDUP plan had affirmed that the bottlenecks for ROUNDUP would be shipping and landing craft. The COSSAC planners in OVERLORD also recognized that shipping and landing craft would be limiting factors in determining the success of the operation. Indeed, their plan reflected a reduction in the scope of the assault, in accord with the availability of assault shipping to be expected. Looking ahead to the assault, it appeared to the COSSAC planners all the more important to begin to reduce German fighter strength drastically. This condition "above all others," they asserted, would indicate the date on which the amphibious operation would be launched.20
The War Department BOLERO-ROUNDUP plan and the COSSAC OVERLORD plan each envisaged that, to insure success, the USSR would still have to continue to engage the bulk of the German forces. But OVERLORD more cautiously set specific conditions as to the availability and strength of German divisions, those in France and those withdrawn from the Soviet front, that might be brought to bear against the landings in France. Both plans recognized that ports must early be provided and maintained for the forces in the amphibious operation. The COSSAC planners, drawing upon the experience of the United States and Great Britain in improvising means of maintenance over the beaches in amphibious operations in the Pacific and the Mediterranean, stressed the similar need and expressed confidence in the ability of the Allies to  

fulfill it for the initial landings in OVERLORD. In selecting the objective for ROUNDUP, the War Department planners had merely called for the first landing to take place somewhere within the area between Le Havre and Boulogne. The COSSAC planners chose specifically the Caen sector, which is further west, in order to capitalize especially on the advantages of tactical surprise and of concentration of force in an area that might successfully be isolated from Axis counterattack. The provision of separate geographic sectors on the fighting front contemplated in OVERLORD, on the other hand, reaffirmed the principle advocated by War Department planners in the spring of 1942 of maintaining a territorial division between the ground forces of the United Kingdom and those of the United States in cross-Channel operations from the United Kingdom.
In early August, General Marshall and his planning assistants, as well as other members of the American staff, began to explore OVERLORD'S feasibility. In the course of the discussions by the JCS on 6 August, General Marshall asked General Wedemeyer, who had just returned from Sicily, to evaluate the practicability of the OVERLORD operation in the light of his experience with landing operations in HUSKY. General Wedemeyer replied that he was "very optimistic," especially in view of the U.S. Navy's efficient handling of its tasks in HUSKY. Difficulties pointed out by Admiral Cooke concerning maintenance over the beaches could, he believed, be surmounted in OVERLORD. While General Wedemeyer affirmed that the OVERLORD plan was "feasible and workable," he shared Admiral Cooke's concern about the shortage of landing craft as the most serious bottleneck. In any event, if OVERLORD were actually to be executed, General Wedemeyer concluded, the CCS would have to reach a firm decision on the operation at QUADRANT.
General Marshall also took the occasion to put a series of detailed questions to Maj. Gen. Ray W. Barker, a U.S. member of General Morgan's staff, who had recently returned to the United States.21 In the process he asked for Barker's frank opinion of the British attitude toward OVERLORD. General Barker replied that soldiers of all ranks, up to and including General Morgan and General Sir Bernard Paget (commander of the 21 Army Group), were " 100 percent favorable toward OVERLORD." However, when the Chief of the Imperial General Staff and others came under the "sun lamp" of the Prime Minister, the latter's attitude was reflected, and everyone knew that the Prime Minister was "always looking into the Mediterranean and especially into the Aegean." General Marshall observed that General Handy had differentiated the two basic alternatives well in remarking that in the Mediterranean political consequences were the goal, whereas OVERLORD was an aggressive offensive action that would accomplish military results by itself from its inception.22
Further preliminary examination on the Army and joint planning levels bore out the impressions of General Wede-  

meyer that the limitations set forth in the plan were serious but not prohibitive, and that the plan was soundly conceived.23 In the strategic concept for the defeat of the Axis in Europe, approved by the JCS on g August for presentation at QUADRANT, OVERLORD was accepted as the primary U.S.-British ground and air effort in Europe.24
While American planners and the JCS recognized that, at the QUADRANT Conference, thorny questions on the priority of forces and resources for OVERLORD would have to be threshed out and the general problem of the relation of OVERLORD to operations in the Mediterranean and in other theaters would have to be resolved, the JCS prepared in early August to throw its weight behind the new plan for an invasion of western Europe. A significant stage had thus been reached in the long campaign that had been waged by U.S. military leaders since General Marshall had taken the War Department BOLERO-ROUNDUP plan to London in April 1942. At hand now was a new composite planning product neither wholly American nor wholly British in conception-an effort to harness American drive and single-mindedness with the British sense of realism and caution in order to defeat Germany.
"Combinations and Permutations"
For the Americans to agree on OVERLORD was one thing. To win firm British acceptance and carry it out was another. The urge to continue momentum in the Mediterranean must somehow be reconciled with the demand for the cross-Channel operation. Realism demanded compromises in the form of "combinations and permutations." 25  That the American planners were thinking more and more in terms of this and that operation was reflected in the discussion and debate in late July and early August over the strategic pattern of operations in the war against Germany to be upheld by the JCS at the next conference.
There were still differences among the American planners-and their chiefs-on such questions as the specific geographical objectives and requirements of subsequent Mediterranean operations, but by and large they agreed that future Mediterranean operations must primarily create conditions favorable to OVERLORD. On 25 July General Marshall had summed up for the President the basic U.S. military objections to current British strategy in the European war. According to Marshall, the Prime Minister's strategic concept was based on the speculation that a political and economic collapse could be brought about in the occupied countries, especially in the Balkans. If that speculation proved to be faulty the Allies would be committed to a long, drawn-out struggle of blockade and attrition in Europe. The American people, in Marshall's opinion, would not tolerate U.S. participation in such a long war with the bulk of U.S. resources; they would in- 

sist, instead, that American efforts in the Pacific be increased. Marshall found the President in general agreement with him.26
The JCS incorporated these views in the strategic concept for the defeat of the Axis in Europe adopted by them on 9 August for presentation at the conference about to take place at Quebec.27 The JCS maintained that if current circumstances justified making the principal Anglo-American effort in the Mediterranean, the CCS should approve plans for concentrating strength in that area. Actually, the U.S. Chiefs of Staff felt that the situation had not changed enough since TRIDENT to justify renouncing the TRIDENT concept of cross-Channel operations in favor of a secondary theater, the Mediterranean, where difficulties of logistics and terrain precluded decisive operations against Germany. They still put their faith in the cross-Channel operation and the Combined Bomber Offensive for an early and decisive victory over Germany. This JCS decision put an end to the short-lived flurry of late July and early August in the planning ranks in behalf of the Mediterranean.
The JCS also set forth a general pattern of Mediterranean operations for 1943-44, dividing it into three main phases: (1) the elimination of Italy from the war and the establishment of air bases as far north as the Rome area, and, if feasible, including the Ancona area; (2) capture of Sardinia and Corsica; and (3) eventual entry of Anglo-American forces and the bulk of the re-equipped French forces into southern France. The last phase was in accord with the current belief of Army and joint planners that an operation against southern France could be launched as a diversionary undertaking to OVERLORD In the spring of 1944. The JCS did not then go so far as to endorse the strategic objective, currently advanced by the JWPC, of merging these two fronts-a proposal termed by OPD's Strategy Section planners as "undoubtedly sound."28 The caution of the other members of the JCS toward Admiral Leahy's suggestion of utilizing southern France, in the event of the collapse or occupation of Italy, as a steppingstone by the Allied forces from the Mediterranean to a penetration northward into France and then 

into Germany was currently shared by General Marshall, who was especially concerned lest the Germans seize the opportunity to move into Spain and gain control of the Strait of Gibraltar.29 The JCS also registered the familiar objections to large-scale offensives in the Balkans. The JCS, like their planners, wanted to limit operations in the Balkans to supplying the guerrillas by air and sea and to bombing Ploesti and other strategic objectives from Italian bases.
Even more significantly, the JCS undertook to spell out the relationships between operations in the two areas in respect to resources. Operations in the Mediterranean were, in general, to be limited to means already available in the area, as envisaged at TRIDENT. No change was to be made in the TRIDENT decision to move seven divisions from the Mediterranean to the United Kingdom-a transfer strongly endorsed by General Wedemeyer. Above all, to insure the primacy of OVERLORD, the JCS accepted General McCartney's proposal that between OVERLORD and operations in the Mediterranean-in the event of a shortage of means-OVERLORD was to be given "an overriding priority."30
Army Planners' Interpretation of Choices
At the same time that the JCS were reaching agreement on the pattern of operations they proposed to support at QUADRANT, the Army planners concluded for the Chief of Staff their interpretation of the basic choices in the war in Europe confronting the American delegation. Their conclusions were forwarded to each U.S. officer delegated to attend the conference, as well as to the President.31 Looking back, on the eve of the conference, the Army planners emphasized the disparity between Anglo-American agreements and performances over the preceding year and a half. The two countries had maintained verbal adherence to the decision that the main effort against Germany was to be a cross-Channel operation and that forces and means were to be assembled in the United Kingdom for that purpose, but in practice they had not followed out the decision. The failure to concentrate forces in the United Kingdom had resulted in a net decrease of U.S. strength and, resources that could have been gathered for action against the enemy. The shift from BOLERO to TORCH, the planners also stressed, had been attended  

by haste, waste, and confusion. Programs for production, training, and equipment had been disrupted; schedules for deployment and shipping upset. Cargo lift had been lost as a result of the transshipment of supplies through the United Kingdom. U.S. units had been moved great distances into staging areas and then not sent overseas because of sudden changes in plans. The net result was the existence of two limited forces facing the Axis in widely separated areas and the failure to concentrate sufficient strength to insure early and final victory over the Western Axis.32
The Army planners disclaimed any desire to belittle the achievements of TORCH. They acknowledged that TORCH had brought "great results." The Mediterranean had been opened, Italy was hanging in the balance, southern and eastern Germany faced the threat of air attack, and the highly important Ploesti oil fields had been bombed. The planners also acknowledged that any appraisal of the results that would have occurred had BOLERO been carried out was purely speculative. But, they reasoned, the direct action envisaged in BOLERO-ROUNDUP represented the one chance to end the war in Europe in 1943. In their opinion, the Mediterranean was not the proper area in which to seek a military showdown with Germany. If Allied airpower could be based far enough north in Italy to bomb southern Germany, all the major military gains that could be won from the North African operation would have been achieved.33
The Army planners concluded that the United States and Great Britain had reached the "crossroads in the war." 34 If the practice of dispersing resources were continued, the war might develop into a stalemate. To secure final victory as soon as possible, the United States and United Kingdom would have to decide on a main effort, adhere to it firmly, concentrate forces, and assign to all other undertakings subsidiary missions. The two governments would have to choose between undertaking a decisive effort from the Mediterranean and launching a decisive main effort across the Channel.
The Army planners opposed the allocation of additional forces to the Mediterranean on the ground that the Mediterranean would afford an opportunity neither for decisive military action against the German citadel, nor for greatly relieving the pressure on the USSR. The nature of the terrain and communications systems in the Mediterranean would keep the United States and United Kingdom from effectively deploying a large ground force in combat. It would enable the Germans to take countermeasures in areas bordering the Mediterranean with relatively few forces. The area of operations in the Mediterranean was too distant from major Allied bases, especially for supporting a large-scale amphibious undertaking. The quantity and effectiveness of help or opposition to be expected from the Balkan peoples could not be predicted with accuracy. Operations in the Mediterranean would not contribute to the de- 

feat of German submarines and would not compel Germany to expose its air force to the great losses incurred in a defense against a decisive Anglo-American ground-air offensive. Assigning more troops and resources to the Mediterranean would therefore actually help Germany achieve a "strategic stalemate" in Europe.35
A cross-Channel offensive, on the other hand, would contribute directly toward final victory over the Axis forces. The United Kingdom was the only available base capable of sustaining a concentrated air-sea-ground attack against the German forces. Such action would lead to the destruction or capture of the most important German submarine bases and would result in the reduction of the German Air Force. It would bring the Anglo-American forces into direct contact with the German Army in an area where air and ground forces could be used "effectively and decisively." Germany would then have to choose between a retreat, which would permit the assault forces to capture strategic land areas, and the transfer of divisions from the Eastern Front and other areas. Such transfers would quickly lead to breaking German defenses and complete Allied victory.
The planners asserted that an expansion of operations in the Mediterranean was consistent with a course of action that would cause the USSR and Germany to annihilate each other, while the United States and the United Kingdom wrecked the internal support of the German war machine by raids, limited operations, sabotage, and strategic bombardment. The Mediterranean area offered an opportunity to gamble for a victory to be won primarily through "psychological and political pressure."36 Military action would not be the decisive factor, they maintained, if the Mediterranean course were adopted.
On the other side of the argument, the planners emphasized, a cross-Channel operation was based on the assumption that Germany could not be defeated unless the maximum military power of the United States, the United Kingdom, and the USSR were concentrated against the German Army. The purpose of that concentration was to defeat the German Army by a coordinated air-ground offensive across the Channel and from the Eastern Front. Military action, rather than political and psychological pressure, would determine the ultimate success or failure of a cross-Channel operation. The Army planners doubted whether the Soviet Army, even aided by the indirect support of strategic bombardment, would be able to destroy the fighting power of the Axis forces without the help of a major Anglo-American air- 

ground operation. The soundest course of action, the Army planners therefore affirmed, was for the United States and Great Britain to assemble air and ground forces in the United Kingdom for a cross-Channel invasion of the Continent.37
Strategy, Production, and Manpower
That the Army planners should show great concern by the summer of 1943 regarding the need for a firm Allied decision was not too surprising. The whole question of quantitative requirements-in manpower and production for bringing the war to a successful conclusion was involved. In particular, the size and kind of U.S. army to be mobilized and deployed were at stake.
The period of retrenchment and economy in early 1943 produced a more cautious attitude on the part of the Army in regard to manpower.38 Even as the TRIDENT Conference was reaching its conclusion in late May, a deepening realization that careful examination of troop strength and its employment was a "must" led the Army to try to correlate the military program with the requirements stemming from the conference decisions. At this point General Marshall and his assistants took what proved to be an important step in calculating the wartime Army troop basis. A special committee was appointed in the War Department General Staff to study the current military program carefully in an effort to revise it downward. The Committee on the Revision of the Military Program, as it was called, was composed of two OPD officers, Col. Ray T. Maddocks and Lt. Col. Marshall S. Carter, and Col. Edwin W. Chamberlain of G-3, and was to examine the threat of overmobilization and investigate the possibility of decreasing the total number of ground divisions required in the troop basis.39 It was anticipated that the findings of the committee would serve as a guide for determining the ultimate strength of the Army and the subsequent mobilization rate.
Early in June 1943 the committee informally called the Maddocks Committee since Colonel Maddocks was the steering member-issued its general report.40 Its studies confirmed the need for reducing the number of divisions-a view that had been gaining support since the end of 1942. The strategic basis for that conclusion was in part the demonstration by the Soviet armies of their ability to check the German advance. This development finally made obsolete the initial Victory Program estimates of 1941, which had been based on the assumption that the United States and Great Britain might have to defeat the

huge armies of Germany and its allies unaided. Another significant factor brightening the strategic picture was the improving prospect of gaining air superiority over the Continent.
The committee made three basic recommendations. First, it proposed the reduction of the strength of the Army authorized for 1943 from 8,248,000 to 7,657,000.41 Second, it called for a modification of the current troop basis in order to provide a balanced force built around eighty-eight divisions, the number already activated. The twelve additional divisions scheduled for activation during the remainder of 1943 were to be deleted from the 1943 program. Third, it recommended that the ultimate size of the Army and of the major units in it (air and ground) should be decided at the end of the summer. The ultimate size of the Army would largely depend on the course of Soviet-German fighting and the effectiveness of the combined British-American bomber offensive in Europe. The committee made two corollary proposals: that once the ultimate size of the Army was determined, a "firm and final troop basis should be worked out" to "support operations directed by the TRIDENT Conference, and . . . insure a sufficient reserve to exploit any success or to meet any changes in the situation"; and that the units provided in this final troop basis should be allocated to theaters and to the general reserve, and organized, trained, and equipped accordingly.
If the outcome of the fighting on the Eastern Front and of the Combined Bomber Offensive were favorable, the committee believed that an ultimate strength of one hundred divisions would be necessary to win the war. To defeat Germany would require between sixty and seventy divisions and from thirty to forty divisions would be needed for operations against Japan and for a strategic reserve. After the downfall of Germany, some divisions could be transferred from Europe to the Pacific.
In the meantime, the committee suggested that the mobilization rate be slowed down and the target date for reaching the 8,248,000 goal be deferred. Current estimates indicated that of the 88 divisions activated by 1 September 1943, eighty-one would be trained by 1 October 1944, but only fifty would be deployed overseas by that time. A reserve of thirty-one trained and seven partially trained divisions was considered to be adequate for emergencies during 1944 This would help to ease the pressure at the time the manpower shortage was expected to be most acute. Final decision on the strength required for 1944 could be made in September 1943. The committee noted that, while the increase in the Army troop basis for 1944 would amount to less than 0.5 percent, the Navy planned an expansion of over 45 percent.42
Before completing its work, the committee proposed several "subsidiary tasks" that would have to be carried out to achieve maximum economy in personnel. It suggested organizational changes within tile Army and modifications in accepted missions of the Services. The changes and modifications were expected to eliminate waste, duplication, and unproductive activities, and to make 

the Army's slice of the manpower pie go as far as possible.43
In mid-June General Marshall and the Secretary of War approved the committee's general report .44 At an off-the-record conference the Chief of Staff informed the press that the activation of twelve additional divisions would be deferred until 1944. Lest this news lead the American public to overconfidence and a relaxation of the war effort and, obversely, lest the enemy conclude that the reduction signified that the United States was unable to fulfill its mobilization schedule, he requested that the information be kept in confidence.45 On 1 July the War Department circulated a new, approved Troop Basis for 1943. In accord with the committee's recommendations, it provided for 88 divisions and an Army strength of about 7,700,000. Two provisional light divisions, which were also authorized, soon were given permanent status. As a result, the new troop basis for 1943 envisaged a "go-division Army."
The effects of the Army economy drive, which Marshall had predicted might produce considerable reductions in manpower during 1943, permitted the 8,248,000 goal to be cut back to 7,686,000 in July 1943.46 Further efforts were made by General Gasser to trim continental defense forces, but his proposal to abolish the defense commands and turn over coastal defense duties to the Coast Guard met opposition from OPD. Some reductions could be made, General Handy thought, but the basic purpose of the defense command was still sound.47 The Ground Forces' Lt. Gen. Lesley J. McNair supported efforts to economize on service troops in the zone of interior and in wartime theaters in order to provide a larger ratio of offensive combat troops.48 During this period of Army curtailment the Navy, in order to man new construction, was still expanding. For this reason, Marshall concurred in the Navy troop basis of 2,092,960 for 1943.49
The pressures that had forced the War

Department to resurvey its manpower program in turn necessitated a review of its procurement requirements. Cutting back the size of the Army and reorienting the strategy for the offensive, which entailed a corresponding shift in the kind of army needed, made this imperative. Procurement had been related to strategy through the Victory Program prepared by the Operations Division in co-ordination with other staff agencies. G3 had set up the mobilization schedule for troops and from time to time modified it in conjunction with transportation and maintenance prospects. Changes in the mobilization schedule and in the Victory Program Troop Basis were also made to meet deployment shifts approved by the Joint Chiefs.50 The actual translation of the requirements into production schedules that would meet the demands established by the Victory Program was carried out by the Army Service Forces.51
Suggestions received from the Bureau of the Budget and the Office of Economic Stabilization that a high-level unit be set lip to investigate the procurement and supply programs led Marshall in early July to establish the War Department Procurement Review Board under the chairmanship of Maj. Gen. Frank R. McCoy (Retired).52  There was a definite feeling among Army leaders that this inquiry had been instigated by civilian pressures to secure a greater proportion of raw materials for civilian use and that the President and War Mobilization Director James F. Byrnes had bowed to this demand.53 The board set to work to survey the existing procurement plans and to bring production rates into line with troop activations and the capabilities of overseas transport. It soon offered a number of practical suggestions for bringing programs and requirements into balance and effecting savings in the use of men and materials.54
Out of the uncertainties over strategy, manpower, and production prevalent in early 1943 emerged some definite patterns that were to set the tone and scope of subsequent Army planning. But there was still no fully defined and accepted Allied theory of the relationship among strategy, production, and manpower. The possible limits of each had appeared susceptible to considerable variation in interpretation, and the relationships among them were correspondingly flexible. It is not too much to say that World War II was to close, as it had begun, without a fully developed hypothesis for combining these primary factors in coalition warfare. Under these circumstances, the clearer delineation of the attainable size and shape of the U.S. armed forces 

was destined to serve as a stabilizing factor among the shifting trio. The efforts of the Maddocks Committee, the Manpower Board, and the Procurement Review Board served to emphasize the interdependence of these components and to bring out the need for constant correlation. Troops must be available and trained, equipment must be on hand, and long-term plans must be made. None could stand alone or be effective without careful consideration of the others. The attainment of a more consistent and realistic balance among them was to remain one of the important wartime concerns of the Army staff.
For the Army planners in the summer of 1943, the most important single development among these three elements was the establishment of a manpower ceiling and an upper limit to the cutting edge of the Army. As later events were to show, the War Department action on manpower planning in June and July of 1943 was to mark the reduction of the level of ultimate Army strength calculations to the 7,700,000 indicated in the Maddocks Committee's report. The generally favorable military situation that ensued was to dictate the acceptance of the 7,700,000 personnel ceiling in subsequent War Department and joint mobilization planning down to the end of the war in Europe.55 In time, the go-division program became a permanent feature of wartime mobilization planning. Though the wartime Army as a whole showed a net growth of almost 3,000,000 after 1942 (from about 5,400,000 to almost 8,300,000), the increase went mainly into air and service units and overhead establishments. The expansion of combat divisions ceased by the middle of 1943. With the activation of the last division in August 1943, the 90-division program, with which the U.S. Army actually finished the war, was fulfilled.56 By V-J Day all eighty-nine active divisions were deployed overseas and all but two had seen combat.57
The question of whether ninety divisions would be enough was to plague the War Department leaders down to the very end of the war.58 Henceforth, problems of reserves and narrow margins of safety would become the nightmare to disturb the planners' dreams-problems all the more aggravated for them in 1943 by the threat of an unsettled strategy and consequent drain of the precious stock of manpower in indecisive undertakings in secondary theaters.
The formulation of the 90-division troop basis marked the arrival of the Army planners, by the summer of 1943, at a point at which mobilization, production, and strategy programs for winning the war were converging. Realistic estimates in quantitative terms of what the United States had and would have at its disposal could at last be made. In partic-

ular, after June 1943 the Army planners knew more exactly the full extent of the cutting edge the wartime Army could expect to reach. Ultimate troop ceilings rather than current shortages henceforth became all-important in planning, and plans had to be made to fit them. Such ceilings would become vital factors in planning the establishment of the last decisive fronts in Europe and in the war against Japan. Henceforth, U.S. strategic planners would be more and more insistent on precise agreements on magnitudes and timing and less and less willing to accept "agreements in principle" of the 1942 variety.


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