I. The Third Washington Conference

(May 12–25, 1943)

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Contents

  1. C.C.S. 83rd Meeting. The meetings of the Combined Chiefs of Staff were numbered consecutively from the establishment of the organization, which held its first meeting in Washington on January 23, 1942. The 83rd Meeting was the first held in connection with the Third Washington Conference.
  2. C.C.S. 84th meeting.
  3. C.C.S. 85th meeting.
  4. C.C.S. 86th meeting.
  5. C.C.S. 87th meeting.
  6. C.C.S. 88th meeting.
  7. C.C.S. 89th meeting.
  8. 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)

  9. Regarding the origin of the Pacific War Council, see the editorial note relating to the 12th meeting, June 25, 1942, Foreign Relations, The Conferences at Washington, 1941–1942, and Casablanca, 1943, p. 448.
  10. C.C.S. 91st meeting.
  11. C.C.S. 92nd meeting.
  12. C.C.S. 93rd meeting.
  13. Regarding this meeting, which probably took place at the British Embassy, the Stimson Diary for May 22, 1943, records the following observations: “Stilwell was going to see him [Churchill] this morning for a short talk and I coached Stilwell on how to act with him so as to get some punch into his remarks and not be afraid of him and, as it happens, it worked like a charm because when I met the Prime Minister he told me he liked Stilwell very much in what he had said to him in the morning.” (Stimson Papers)
  14. This appears to be the same meeting, or series of meetings, described in Behrens, p. 371 as having covered the better part of May 22 and the early morning hours of May 23, 1943. This American-British meeting was preceded by a 2-hour meeting of the American conferees. Not all the persons listed above were present for the entire series of meetings.
  15. C.C.S. 94th meeting.
  16. C.C.S. 95th meeting.
  17. C.C.S. 96th meeting.
  18. Roosevelt apparently first learned of the substance of this meeting from Bush on June 24, 1943. For an account of the President’s reaction to the report on the meeting, see post, p. 631. Also in connection with this meeting, see Cherwell’s letter of May 30, 1943, to Hopkins, which is quoted in the editorial note to the Roosevelt–Churchill luncheon meeting of May 24, 1943, ante, p. 188.