J. C. S. Files

Combined Chiefs of Staff Minutes

1. Conclusions of the Minutes of the 93rd Meeting

The Combined Chiefs of Staff:—

Approved the conclusions as shown in the Minutes of the 93rd Meeting held on Saturday, the 22nd May.3

2. Anti-U–Boat Warfare
(C.C.S. 241 and 241/1)4

Previous Reference: C.C.S. 93rd Meeting, Item 2.5

Admiral Leahy suggested that C.C.S. 241 and 241/1 should each [Page 179] be altered in certain respects and then noted by the Combined Chiefs of Staff.

Sir Charles Portal suggested a minor amendment to paragraph 4 of C.C.S. 241/1.

Admiral Leahy read out a draft conclusion with reference to the work of the Allied Anti-Submarine Survey Board.

The Combined Chiefs of Staff:—

Took note of C.C.S. 241 and deleted the phrase “and that the Allied Anti-Submarine Survey Board should be responsible for recommending any such transfer” at the end of the last paragraph of page 1. (Subsequently published as C.C.S. 241/3.6)
Took note of C.C.S. 241/1 and directed that the words “relieve British planes in certain areas” should be deleted and the words “provide planes” substituted. (Subsequently published as C.C.S. 241/4.7)
Agreed that in view of the fact that the directive under which the Allied Anti-Submarine Survey Board operates requires them to report on any aspect of the Allied Anti-Submarine Organization in which they consider the Allied resources are not being used to the best advantage, it is not considered necessary that the Board should have any special responsibility laid on them in the case quoted in C.C.S. 241.

3. Movements of the “Queens”
(C.C.S. 246)8

Previous Reference: C.C.S. 93rd Meeting, Item 5.9

Without discussion,

The Combined Chiefs of Staff:—

Accepted the proposals for the future movement of the Queens as set out in paragraph 6 of C.C.S. 246.

[Page 180]

4. Policy for Coming Operations Regarding Propaganda and Subversive Activities
(C.C.S. 185/4)10

Previous Reference: C.C.S. 93rd Meeting, Item 3.11

General Ismay informed the Combined Chiefs of Staff that the Prime Minister had agreed to the draft telegram to General Eisenhower, contained in C.C.S. 185/4.

The Combined Chiefs of Staff:—

Took note that the President and Prime Minister had decided that the policy set forth in C.C.S. 185/2/D12 should be adhered to.
Agreed to send the message contained in C.C.S. 185/4 to General Eisenhower.

5. Implementation of Assumed Basic Undertakings and Specific Operations for the Conduct of the War in 1943–1944
(C.C.S. 244)13

The Committee had before them C.C.S. 244 together with an addendum and corrigendum to it containing Annex VII, and a summary of conclusions and a corrigendum to Annex II.

Certain amendments to the paper were suggested and accepted.

Lord Leathers said that Annex VII represented the agreed views of himself, Mr. Lewis Douglas and General Somervell and was a submission of the shipping position for the period under discussion. He and his colleagues believed the deficiencies were relatively small and, if properly spread over all the programs concerned, the effect would not be unmanageable. The requirements set out in the paper had, in most cases, been cut as far as was possible. The deficiency was only a small percentage of the total. This small percentage of deficiency when taking into consideration the various assumptions, including losses, building rates, etc., was so small that it could be spread and absorbed and gave, in his opinion, no grounds for anxiety.

Lord Leathers then suggested a minor amendment to the note following paragraph 3 of Annex VII, Part I.

[Page 181]

Sir Alan Brooke explained that the reduced troop lift due to the proposed opening out of the cycle of movement for the Queens had been taken into account—the bottleneck was dry cargo and not personnel shipping.

In reply to a question by General Marshall, Lord Leathers explained that shortly after the Casablanca Conference the loss rate had been carefully examined and agreed rates accepted. These were 2.39 percent per month for the first half of the year and 1.9 percent per month for the second half. The present paper had been based on these calculations, though in fact the loss rate so far this year had worked out at slightly less than 1.9 percent. An agreed and accurate loss rate was a most important factor in all calculations dealing with shipping requirements and availability. He agreed with Admiral King that the loss rate should be subjected to frequent review.

Mr. Douglas said that he agreed with Lord Leathers that the deficit with regard to dry cargo shipping was not unmanageable.

In reply to a question by General Marshall, General Somervell said that he agreed with Lord Leathers and Mr. Douglas that shipping was available for the undertakings set out in C.C.S. 244, subject to the slight deficit which he considered could be absorbed by spreading it over the entire period.14

Sir Alan Brooke said that he felt sure the Combined Chiefs of Staff would wish to express appreciation of the excellent work accomplished in so short a time by the Combined Staff Planners and shipping experts, both civil and military. All present agreed.

The Combined Chiefs of Staff:—

Approved C.C.S. 244, as amended in Annex “B” to these Minutes,* except that paragraphs 11 and 12 of the Summary of Conclusions should be taken note of as recommendations only.

6. Despatch of U. S. Service and Engineer Troops to the United Kingdom

Sir Alan Brooke read out a brief memorandum on the importance of the early despatch of certain service and engineer troops to the United Kingdom. This movement would not interfere with the scheduled Sickle build-up but was essential due to the shortage of manpower in England.

[Page 182]

General Somervell said that he entirely agreed with Sir Alan Brooke’s view that the early arrival of S.O.S. and engineer troops was essential to prepare for the arrival of the fighting forces.

General Marshall said that the present plan already provided for the movement of 40,000 men per division which included a large proportion of service units. The required priority could be arranged for early sailing of necessary service elements.

Sir Charles Portal said that he was prepared to accept this movement provided that it was not at the expense of Sickle , the priority of which must not be disturbed.

Admiral King said that the picture as a whole must be considered. It might prove necessary for the Sickle movement to be modified slightly in the light of these requirements.

Lord Leathers pointed out the necessity for port battalions for discharging the ships at the landing points.

Both General McNarney and Sir Charles Portal pointed out that Sickle was an essential prelude to and an integral part of cross-Channel operations as a whole and that the ground operations could not be undertaken without it.

The Combined Chiefs of Staff:—

Agreed that the necessary service troops for the build-up of the Bolero force will be given priorities in sailings as necessary to service the build-up of the combat troops without prejudice to Sickle .

(At this point Lord Leathers, Lord Cherwell, and Mr. Douglas left the meeting.)

7. Operation “Brisk

Previous Reference: C.C.S. 87th Meeting, Item 2.15

The Committee had before them a draft report by the British Planning Staff. (J.P.(T) 17 (Final))16

In the course of discussion it was pointed out that the Prime Minister and President had made it clear that the decision with regard to diplomatic action should rest with them, and had asked the Combined Chiefs of Staff to prepare a statement of the military reasons necessitating the occupation of the Portuguese Islands, a military plan to effect their capture and to give a target date on which this operation could be undertaken.

The Combined Chiefs of Staff then discussed certain alternative [Page 183] proposals for obtaining the use of these Islands at an earlier date than that indicated in the plan.

The Combined Chiefs of Staff:—

Took note that the British Staff Planners were preparing a statement for inclusion in the final report to the President and Prime Minister, which would set forth the urgent military reasons for this operation.17

8. Third Soviet Protocol
(C.C.S. 243)18

Without discussion,

The Combined Chiefs of Staff:—

Agreed that this matter should be considered after the conclusion of the Trident Conferences.19

  1. Ante, p. 160.
  2. Neither printed. C.C.S. 241 was a paper from the British Chiefs of Staff suggesting lines of discussion on the question of anti-U–boat warfare. C.C.S. 241/1 set forth the views of the United States Chiefs of Staff after examining the British paper.
  3. Ante, p. 161.
  4. C.C.S. 241/3, May 24, 1943, “Anti-U–Boat Warfare”, not printed.
  5. C.C.S. 241/4, May 24, 1943, “Anti-U–Boat Warfare”, not printed.
  6. C.C.S. 246, May 23, 1943, memorandum by British Chiefs of Staff, not printed, reviewed the current danger posed by German submarines to the Queens in their trans-Atlantic passages and the desirability to arrange for these passages to be made under the most favorable conditions. The memorandum concluded: “Taking the above factors into consideration, it is considered that these ships should be run on the 28 day cycle and that the consequent loss in lift should be accepted.” (J. C. S. Files)
  7. Ante, p. 164.
  8. Post, p. 330.
  9. Ante, p. 163.
  10. For text of the paper under reference, see footnote 2 to Eisenhower’s telegram of May 17 to the Combined Chiefs of Staff, post, p. 326.
  11. C.C.S. 244, May 23, 1943, not printed. For text of the revised version of this paper, C.C.S. 244/1, May 25, 1943, which incorporated the amendments agreed upon by the Combined Chiefs of Staff in the course of this meeting, see post, p. 233. Neither annex ii, a review of land force availabilities, nor annex vii, a review of shipping availabilities, is printed.
  12. For the memorandum by Douglas and Leather regarding dry cargo shipping availabilities and requirements, dated May 23, 1943, see post, p. 313.
  13. Subsequently circulated as C.C.S. 244/1. [Footnote in the source text. This paper, post, p. 233, incorporated the amendments to C.C.S. 244 which were agreed upon by the Combined Chiefs of Staff during this meeting.]
  14. Annex “A” to these minutes. [Footnote in the source text. Annex “A” not printed.]
  15. Ante, p. 98.
  16. Not printed.
  17. For the statement regarding the advantages to be gained from the use of the Azores, included as the annex to C.C.S. 242/6, May 25, 1943, “Final Report to the President and Prime Minister”, see post, p. 371.
  18. C.C.S. 243, May 22, 1943, “Third Soviet Protocol”, not printed.
  19. The Third Soviet Supply Protocol was signed at London, October 19, 1943. See Department of State publication 2759, Soviet Supply Protocols (Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1947), p. 51. For additional documentation regarding the continuation and enlargement of wartime assistance from the United States to the Soviet Union in 1943, see Foreign Relations, 1943, vol. iii, pp. 737 ff.