J.C.S. Files

Memorandum by the United States Chiefs of Staff1

C.C.S. 303/1

Strategic Concept for the Defeat of the Axis in Europe

The discussion in the Combined Chiefs of Staff Meeting yesterday2 made more apparent than ever the necessity for decision now as to whether our main effort in the European Theater is to be in the Mediterranean or from the United Kingdom. The United States Chiefs of Staff believe that this is the critical question before the conference and that the effective conduct of the war in Europe makes this decision now a must.

We propose the following:

The Combined Chiefs of Staff reaffirm the decisions of the Trident Conference3 as to the execution of Overlord including the definite allotment [Page 1024] of forces thereto and assign to it an overriding priority over other operations in the European Theater.

The United States Chiefs of Staff believe that the acceptance of this decision must be without conditions and without mental reservation. They accept the fact that a grave emergency will always call for appropriate action to meet it. However, long range decision for the conduct of the war must not be dominated by possible eventualities.

  1. For the discussion of this paper at the 109th Meeting of the Combined Chiefs of Staff, August 16, 1943, see ante, p. 870.
  2. See ante, p. 864.
  3. See ante, p. 365.