Prime Minister Churchill to President Roosevelt
La Cabane de Montmorency,
Mr. President: I enclosed [enclose] unparaphrased version of my telegram and the reply
about the dates and scales of
respectively. The position is still far from satisfactory.
As these telegrams are unparaphrased will you please burn them after you
have read them.
W[inston] S C[hurchill]
28. 8. 43
Prime Minister Churchill to the Deputy Commander in Chief,
Allied Force Headquarters (Alexander)2
, August 25, 1943.
- General Whiteley, who has been here, has told us the dates and
respectively. He has made the statement that it is
expected “that six Divisions will be through Calabria by
December 1st” and “that six other Divisions will be ashore at
by December 1st”. This has filled me with the greatest
concern and I hope you will be able to reassure me. Assuming
that our landings are successful and that we are not defeated in
the subsequent battles I cannot understand why 2½ months or more
will be required “to get ashore”, or why it would be necessary,
once we have obtained an effective port and bridgehead at
to march all the Bay-town Divisions through Calabria
instead of sending some at least of them round by sea.
- Moreover the rate of build-up to 12 Divisions on the mainland
by December 1st seems to me to open dangers of the gravest kind.
First, no effective help can come to enable the Italians in Rome
to turn against the Germans, and the dangers of a German
Quisling Government being installed or alternatively sheer
anarchy supervening will be aggravated and prolonged. Secondly,
if your rate of build-up is no more than 12 Divisions by
December 1st, and these only in Naples area, what is to prevent
the Germans in the same time from bringing far [Page 1187] larger forces against them? They
are at present said to have 16 Divisions in the Italian
Peninsula. I am not myself convinced that these are in fact
complete divisions. On the contrary it would seem likely that
they are the leading elements and headquarters in several cases.
But if the liberation of Rome and the gaining of the important
political and military advantages following therefrom is to be
delayed for more than three months from now no one can measure
- I am most anxious to hear from you before I leave America as
the President was also much distressed by the day mentioned, and
if it is really the kind of time-table that is being worked to
it would be better for us to face the worst in consultation. I
hope however that you will chase these clouds away.
The Head of the Planning Staff, Fifteenth Army
Group (Richardson) to the Chief
of the Imperial General Staff (Brooke)3
26 August 1943.
53 26 August.
. Personal for C.I.G.S.
from Eichardson. Ref. 62930 (C.I.G.S.) dated 26 (
- General Alexander is visiting formations of 5th U.S.A. Army. The slow rate of build
up due to length of turn round and limited resources in craft
caused some re-examination here. The following steps to speed
build up were decided upon at a meeting in Algiers on 23rd
- The withdrawal of the craft from
after (? initial4) assault, thus giving fullest priority
- The allocation of 45 U.S.A. Division in Sicily to 5th U.S.A. Army, so shortening
the turn round from Naples.
- The examination of use of 2 U.S.A. Armoured Divisions from Sicily with
a view to shortening turn round.
- There is no intention to march all
Divisions through Calabria if situation permits them to
be sent by sea and the resources in shipping and (?
destroyers4) make a sea move more
- I cannot give you now the exact rate of build up we are hoping
to achieve but it is considerably greater than that stated by
General Whiteley. The Air Force commitment is very large and
this has to be set against any requirements in allocating the
total lift available.
- I will send estimated rate of build up as soon as this has
been finally worked out. The build up figure has to be obtained
from A.F.H.Q. as so much
depends upon loading facilities.