J.C.S. Files

Memorandum by the British Chiefs of Staff1

most secret
C.C.S. 326

Amphibians for “Overlord

In view of the proved value and necessity of the DUKW, two and one-half ton amphibious truck, it is considered essential that adequate provision of these vehicles be available for Overlord in order to mitigate the great problems involved in prolonged maintenance over the beaches under difficult conditions.
Preliminary examination of requirements resulted in demands being placed for 1,200 DUKWs, of which 700 were destined for use by U.S. Forces and 500 for use by British Forces. It is understood that this requirement was accepted on the basis of production of 400 DUKWs per month to meet present global requirements.
Subsequent to the above demand, additional requirements for Overlord , it is understood, have been stated bringing the total requirement to 2,400; covering 1,400 for U.S. Forces, and 1,000 for the British, of which the latter will probably be increased to 1,500. Preliminary inquiries in Washington lead us to suppose that these enhanced demands have not yet been presented to the Amphibian Subcommittee of the Munitions Assignment Committee, and there appears to be some doubt in Washington as to what is the full Overlord requirement. With a view to clarifying the position, a telegram has been sent to London.
It is probable that the present production of DUKWs will prove too small to compete with requirements, and it is considered that every effort should be made as a matter of urgency to increase productive capacity. It is believed that a substantial increase can be achieved with existing plant but at the expense of production of two and one-half ton trucks and by a reallotment of the requisite steel for hulls.
It is further understood that the U.S. Navy has, or will shortly have, a considerable requirement for DUKWs additional to any already demanded.
In view of the above, agreement of the Combined Chiefs of Staff is requested for:
Acceptance of the principle that priority of allocation of production be given to Overlord .
The issue of instructions for the urgent examination of possible increases in production.
Allocations to Overlord be concurrent for American and British needs in a ratio to be stated by Chief of Staff to the Supreme Allied Commander (Designate).
  1. For the action taken on this paper at the 115th Meeting of the Combined Chiefs of Staff, August 23, 1943, see ante, p. 939.