J.C.S. Files

Report by the Combined Military Transportation Committee1

Enclosure to C.C.S. 222/2
a. The present limit of UGS convoys is 80 ships.
b. UGS 16 sailing on August 26th has 91 firm presenters. A number of these ships have been held back from previous UGS convoys, because of the inability of North African ports to handle them. It is understood that this difficulty no longer exists.
c. UGS 17 sailing September 5th already has 79 presenters with indications of more to come.
d. A similar situation is foreseen for the next few UGS convoys.
The situation regarding UGS 16 is now urgent and there appear to be two alternatives:
To raise the limit of UGS convoys.
To withdraw the 11 lowest priority ships.
The most satisfactory solution would be for alternative a to be adopted.
If this is not feasible the 11 ships to be withdrawn from UGS 16 will suffer the least possible delay if they are included in the first available HX or SC convoy to U.K. to join up with a KMS convoy to the Mediterranean. This would result in a delay in arrival dates of these 11 ships at their destinations of between 16 days and 26 days, depending upon the speed of the ships selected. North Atlantic and KMS convoys are frequently overloaded but have no fixed limit, and are not so well protected as UGS convoys.
The Combined Chiefs of Staff are, therefore, requested to give a decision on the allocation of ships to UGS 16 as a matter of urgency. If it is decided that the limit for UGS convoys must remain at 80 ships, it is requested that the Combined Chiefs of Staff indicate the priority in which these 80 ships should be selected. A decision is required by August 23rd in order to ensure the least delay to any ships which it may be necessary to withdraw from UGS 16.
The detail of ships and destinations of the 91 presenters for UGS 16 is shown in the Annex.2
  1. Circulated under cover of the following note by the Secretaries of the Combined Chiefs of Staff (C.C.S. 222/2), August 20, 1943: “The Enclosure, a study prepared by the Combined Military Transportation Committee on its own initiative, is presented for consideration by the Combined Chiefs of Staff.”
  2. Not printed.