Department of Defense Files

The President’s Naval Aide (McCrea) to the Chief of Staff, United States Army (Marshall) and the Chief of Naval Operations (King)


Memorandum for General Marshall Admiral King

The following has just been received from Hyde Park:

“June 20, 1942.

“Memorandum for Captain John McCrea:1

“In view of letter of yesterday,2 ask General Marshall and Admiral King the following:

“On the assumption that the Russian Army will be hard pressed and retreating in July; that the German forces are in August (1) dangerously threatening Leningrad and Moscow and (2) have made a serious break through on the southern front threatening the Caucasus;

“On the above assumptions, at what point or points can (a) American ground forces prior to September 15, 1942, plan and execute an attack on German forces or in German controlled areas which can compel the withdrawal of German forces from the Russian front; (b) British forces in the same area or in a different area aid in the same objective?

“General Marshall and Admiral King are to be prepared to discuss this with the President tomorrow.3 Hopkins.”

Very respectfully,

John L. McCrea

Captain, U. S. Navy
Naval Aide to the President
  1. The original long-hand draft of this memorandum, written jointly by Roosevelt and Hopkins, is reproduced in facsimile in Sherwood, pp. 586–587. Marshall’s reply to the questions set forth in this memorandum were included in his memorandum of June 23, 1942, to Roosevelt, post, p. 473.
  2. The reference is presumably to Stimson’s letter of June 19 to Roosevelt, ante, p. 457.
  3. For a record of the conclusions reached at the meeting at the White House on June 21, 1942, between Roosevelt and Churchill and their military advisers, see the memorandum by Ismay, ante, p. 434.