J. C. S. Files
Combined Chiefs of Staff Minutes
1. Report to the President and
- Agreed, after discussion, to a number of amendments to C.C.S. 170/1.
- Instructed the Secretaries to incorporate these amendments in a final report to be submitted to the President and Prime Minister.
2. Operation Husky—Directive to General
- Agreed to an amendment to the directive to General Eisenhower (C.C.S. 171/1/D) consequent upon the amendments agreed to in C.C.S. 170/2.
- Directed the Secretaries to transmit the amended directive to General Eisenhower.
3. Assault Shipping
Sir Alan Brooke read a note by Lord Leathers expressing concern at the use of large passenger ships as assault shipping. (A copy of this note is attached as an Annex4 to these Minutes.)
Admiral King said that it was this consideration which had moved him to suggest that the assault in Operation Husky should be carried out as far as possible in the larger type of landing craft and not in assault shipping.
- Of the note by Lord Leathers.
- That the British Chiefs of Staff would submit proposals for reducing to the minimum the use of large passenger ships as assault ships.
4. Conclusion of the Conference
General Marshall, at the conclusion of the conference at Casablanca, expressed his appreciation of the readiness of the British Chiefs of Staff to understand the U. S. point of view and of the fine spirit of cooperation which they had shown during the discussions. [Page 721] He felt sure that the Combined Chiefs of Staff would greatly profit by their contacts with their colleagues and the mutual understanding of each other’s problems which had been insured. He paid a tribute to the work of the British 8th Army and expressed his admiration of their energetic prosecution of the operations in Tripolitania. He went on to thank Sir John Dill for accompanying the U.S. Chiefs of Staff to the conference and for paying a visit to India to continue his valuable work as a link between the U. S. and British Staffs.5
Sir Alan Brooke thanked General Marshall for his words and said that he reciprocated most whole-heartedly General Marshall’s expression of the great benefit which had accrued from the conference. Mutual appreciation of each other’s problems was only possible through personal contacts. Sir John Dill was performing a great service as a link between the British and U. S. Chiefs of Staff. A great step forward had been taken in agreeing upon a basic strategy for the future prosecution of the war.
Sir Charles Portal said he was sure he was speaking on behalf of all the British Chiefs of Staff in expressing his appreciation of the [Page 722] great hospitality which had been given by the U. S. Forces and of the excellent arrangements for the conference which had been made by General Patton and the troops under his command.
Sir John Dill thanked the Combined Chiefs of Staff and emphasized the great value of the frank discussions which had been held.
Admiral King said he fully agreed with Sir Alan Brooke as to the great value of the basic strategic plan which had been worked out at the conference. In his view this was the biggest step forward to the winning of the war. Much has already been done to fill the details of this plan and more would be done in the future, but the discussions which had been held had enabled a true meeting of minds to take place between the British and U. S. Chiefs of Staff.
General Arnold said that he fully associated himself with these views.
- C.C.S. 170/1, January 23, 1943, not printed, but see C.C.S. 170/2, January 23, 1943, post, p. 791.↩
- C.C.S. 171/1/D, not printed, but see C.C.S. 171/2/D, January 23, 1943, post, p. 799.↩
- Not printed.↩
General Marshall sent the following memorandum, dated February 20, 1943, to President Roosevelt regarding the work of Dill:
“Dill accompanied me to the Casablanca conference at my suggestion, approval being obtained from the British Chiefs of Staff. His presence there I believe was of vital importance and at one time practically prevented a complete stalemate regarding the differences between Admiral King and Sir Alan Brooke over the Pacific-European theater issue. Throughout the conference it was apparent that after each difficult meeting a great deal was done by Dill to translate the American point of view into terms understandable to the British, also the fact that in certain matters there could be no compromise. It was useless for them to further complicate the discussions.
“At my request Dill proceeded on to the East in company with General Arnold and General Somervell, who very much desired this arrangement. General Arnold reported to me that Dill’s presence at New Delhi was the major factor in enabling us to reach an agreement with the British and to stimulate them to aggressive efforts towards mounting a Burma operation. To my surprise he further reported that Dill’s presentation of the British factors to the Generalissimo at Chungking was very effective in bringing about a final apparent accord.
“I have gone into detail in this matter for the reason that I think some special notice should be taken of Dill’s contribution to the Allied cause and also because I think that any special awards on his level are highly inadvisable at this time. Therefore I take the liberty of suggesting that you send him a note of appreciation. There is attached a rough draft of such a note, in case you feel disposed to do this.” (Roosevelt Papers)
On the basis of Marshall’s draft, Roosevelt sent the following letter to Dill, dated February 24, 1943: “General Marshall, and later, General Arnold and General Somervell, have told me of the important contribution you made to the British-American conference at Casablanca and especially to the Staff meetings in New Delhi and in Chungking. I want you to know that your impartial attitude and sound judgement in all matters pertaining to cooperation among the United Nations are very deeply appreciated by me. I am glad that things went so well and that you are safely back.” The letter was signed: “Sincerely your old friend, Franklin D. Roosevelt.” (Roosevelt Papers)
For accounts of the American-British staff meetings in New Delhi beginning on February 1, 1943, and the meetings between Arnold and Dill and Chiang in Chungking on February 6 and 7, 1943, see Romanus and Sunderland, pp. 272–275, and S. Woodbury Kirby, The War Against Japan, vol. ii: India’s Most Dangerous Hour (London: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1958), pp. 298–305.↩