Meeting of the Combined Chiefs of Staff, 10:30 a.m. 1

1. C.C.S. 90th meeting. Regarding this meeting and the 91st meeting (post, p. 142), the Stimson Diary for May 21, 1943, records the following observations:

“The minutes of the proceedings of yesterday by the Combined Chiefs of Staff were not so encouraging. They dealt with the serious situation in Burma and the possibilities of action there. The conclusions evidenced in their final resolution in the afternoon seem to me so inconclusive and unsatisfactory that I called in General Stilwell who had been there and got him to explain to me and to McCloy on the maps his own plans and the extent and method in which the British propositions fell short of what Stilwell thought were the requirements of the situation. Later in the afternoon I had a talk with Marshall over it and he gave me his difficulties. He agreed that the matter had been left in a very unsatisfactory situation. The President has gone over solid to the support of an air attack by Chennault as sufficient to secure China and to that end he is giving to Chennault the lion’s share of the capacity of the Burma airline during the first approaching months. This will cut off the indispensable supply for the ground troops in Yunnan which Stilwell is laboring so hard to get. Marshall told me of his difficulties in getting Stilwell to report clearly and intelligently to the conferees. I told him that in my interview with him this morning I found that, while he was shy, by proper questions I could get it all out and I wished very much that someone had been able and willing to do that yesterday in the conferences but apparently Stilwell shut up like a clam and made therefore an unfavorable impression.” (Stimson Papers)

United States United Kingdom
Admiral Leahy General Brooke
General Marshall Admiral of the Fleet Pound
Admiral King Air Chief Marshal Portal
Lieutenant General McNarney Field Marshal Dill
Lieutenant General Stilwell Field Marshal Wavell
Lieutenant General Somervell Admiral Somerville
Vice Admiral Horne Air Chief Marshal Peirse
Major General Streett Admiral Noble
Major General Chennault Lieutenant General Macready
Major General Fairchild Air Marshal Welsh
Major General Smith Major General Holmes
Rear Admiral Cooke Captain Lambe
Brigadier General Wedemeyer Brigadier Porter
Colonel Cabell Air Commodore Elliot
Commander Freseman Brigadier Macleod
Commander Long
Brigadier Redman
Brigadier General Deane
Commander Coleridge
Lieutenant Colonel Vittrup

[52] Combined Chiefs of Staff Minutes

J. C. S. Files