Department of the Army Files

Memorandum by the Secretary, War Department General Staff ( Smith ) to the Chief of Staff, United States Army ( Marshall )


Memorandum for the Chief of Staff

Attached is a draft of General Ismay’s notes of today’s conference approved by General Brooke.1 Attached also is a draft of a rewrite based on your notes to General Handy. General Handy and I believe this redraft is more in line with your ideas as to the points on which we should agree. We will not be able to reconcile the two drafts with the British. General Brooke suggests that we wait until tomorrow before discussing the matter.


Staff Paper Presented by the Secretary, Joint Chiefs of Staff (Smith) and the Chief, Strategy and Policy Group, Operations Division, War Department General Staff (Handy)


Plans and preparations for the Bolero operation in 1943 on as large a scale as possible are to be pushed forward with all speed and energy. It is however, essential that the U. S. and Great Britain should be prepared, if necessary to act offensively in 1942.

[Page 469]

Cross-channel operations in 1942 would, if successful, yield greater political and strategic gains than operations in any other theater. These include operations against the Channel Islands, the Brest and Cherbourg Peninsulas and Pas de Calais. Plans and preparations for such operations are to be pressed forward with all possible speed, energy and ingenuity. The most resolute efforts must be made to overcome the obvious dangers and difficulties of the enterprise. If a sound and feasible plan can be contrived we should not hesitate to give effect to it. If, on the other hand, detailed examination indicates that despite all efforts success is impossible, we must be ready with an alternative.

Possible alternatives are operations against Northern Norway, the Iberian Peninsula or Gymnast . Plans for these operations should be completed in all detail as soon as possible.

  1. Ismay’s memorandum of June 21 is printed ante, p. 434.