J. C. S. Files

Combined Chiefs of Staff Minutes

1. Approval of the Minutes of the 94th Meeting

The Combined Chiefs of Staff:—

Approved the conclusions of the minutes of the 94th meeting except that the conclusion under Item 6 was changed to read as follows:

“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 .”2

2. Draft Report to President and Prime Minister
(C.C.S. 242/2)3

The Combined Chiefs of Staff considered C.C.S. 242/2 paragraph by paragraph and agreed to certain amendments.

Admiral Leahy pointed out that the British proposal relating to the extension of pressure in the Pacific for the earliest defeat of the Axis was, in his opinion, unacceptable since, should the situation in the Pacific become dangerous to U. S. interests or to U. S. itself, it [Page 185] would be necessary to supplement U. S. forces in this theater even at the expense of the early defeat of Germany.

Sir Charles Portal said that the British proposal was not intended to restrict operations in the Pacific but rather to insure that any surplus forces which might become available could be concentrated on the early defeat of Germany, thus bringing the war as a whole to an end more rapidly.

General Marshall said that with regard to air forces, the Combined Chiefs of Staff had agreed to put into the United Kingdom the maximum number of groups which could be maintained there. If, therefore, there was a surplus of air forces he believed that they should be sent to the Southwest Pacific which at present was operating on a shoestring and where great results could be achieved by relatively small additions to the forces in that area.

The U. S. Air Staff were more than anxious to implement the Sickle plan since they believed that air superiority properly applied would produce devastating results. They were reluctant, therefore, to divert forces elsewhere at the expense of Sickle . On the other hand, in the Pacific the Japanese with their good interior lines of communication could more rapidly concentrate their air forces and it was essential, therefore, to have a numerical as well as a combat ascendancy. No major concentration of Japanese forces had yet taken place in the Pacific; but if this should occur, our own forces might find themselves in a most difficult situation from which they would have to be retrieved. Public opinion in the United States would not permit the acceptance of major reverses in the Pacific. If, therefore, there was any surplus of forces above those required to undertake agreed operations, he believed that they should be sent to the Southwest Pacific to exploit and improve our position in that area.

Sir Charles Portal said that he entirely agreed that any surplus forces, which might exist, should be sent to the Pacific, either for agreed operations or to defend the United States; but what he had meant to imply was that if operations in the Pacific were going well, it would be wiser, in order to eliminate Germany from the war, to send any surplus there might be either to the United Kingdom or to the Mediterranean.

The Committee then accepted the addition of certain words to paragraph II b suggested by Sir Dudley Pound [Sir Charles Portal?].4

In discussing the subparagraph of paragraph III dealing with the concentration of maximum resources in a selected area, Sir Charles [Page 186] Portal said that the words “in a selected area” might prove restrictive, since, as regards air forces, a saturation point might be reached in the United Kingdom. He believed that if additional forces were available they should attack the citadel of Europe from bases on all sides.

General Marshall pointed out that it had already been agreed that the air offensive in Europe should be intensified without restricting the bases from which the forces should operate. He believed that all the decisions of the Conference must be reviewed at the next meeting or earlier if necessary, since, should Russia fall or make peace with Germany, it would be impossible to accomplish Roundhammer . It might therefore be necessary to reorient our strategy with a view to undertaking the defeat of Japan prior to that of Germany.

Sir Alan Brooke agreed as to the necessity of reviewing at the next conference all the decisions now taken, since it was vital to exploit any opportunities which arose. The position in southern Europe might well be such that we should take advantage of it.

Admiral Leahy suggested that paragraph VII b dealing with the next meeting of the Combined Chiefs of Staff should be amended to make it clear that the decisions reached at the present conference should be examined in the light of the situation then existing.

General Marshall suggested certain amendments to the Annex aimed at strengthening the case, on military grounds, for obtaining the Islands.

In discussing the amendment to paragraph III i of the Annex, which pointed out that the Islands provided the most direct all-weather air supply routes to Europe, Africa and the Far East, Sir Charles Portal said that he would like it to be agreed that the requirements of anti-U–boat warfare must take first priority.

The Combined Chiefs of Staff:—

Agreed to the draft report to the President and Prime Minister as amended in C.C.S. 242/3.5
Agreed that with reference to Section IV, paragraph 3 a (5), no additional administrative or logistic commitments would be entered into without the prior approval of the Combined Chiefs of Staff.
Agreed that the security control agencies of the U.S. and U.K. should arrange for the necessary machinery for the production of deception policy and the coordination of cover plans for operations in the Pacific and Far Eastern Theaters (Including Burma).
Agreed, with regard to paragraph 3 i of the Annex to C.C.S. 242/2, that when the use of the Azores is obtained, first priority must be given to the needs of anti-submarine warfare.

[Page 187]

3. Directive on Organization and Operations of Military Government for Husky
(C.C.S. 247)6

Without discussion,

The Combined Chiefs of Staff:—

Agreed that consideration of this matter should be deferred until after the Trident Conference.7

4. Provision of New L.S.I.(L)’s
(C.C.S. 248)8

Sir Dudley Pound asked that the following amendments should be made to this paper:

Paragraph 5 b (1), first sentence, to read: “the allocation for use by the British services of as many Jay ships as are suitable for conversion to L.S.I.(L)’s.”

The final sentence of paragraph 5 b (2) to read: “and then after conversion temporarily allocated to British control.”

Admiral Leahy said that the United States Chiefs of Staff would like further time to consider this paper.

The Combined Chiefs of Staff:—


That certain amendments should be made to C.C.S. 248 as incorporated in C.C.S. 248/1.9
That action on this paper should be deferred.

5. Requirements To Expand the Capacity of the Air Route to China

General Marshall presented a memorandum setting out certain requirements to enable the capacity of the air route to China to be expanded.10

Sir Charles Portal said that in view of the fact that a directive setting out the priority to be accorded to the expansion of the air route had already been sent to the U. S. and British authorities concerned [Page 188] in India and China, these requirements should also be transmitted to the authorities concerned.11

The Combined Chiefs of Staff:

Agreed that the suggestion at x above12 should be implemented by the U. S. and British Air Staffs in direct collaboration.

  1. See ante, p. 182.
  2. Post, p. 351.
  3. According to King, p. 441, Portal’s amendment reads as follows: “The effect of any such extension on the overall objective to be given consideration by the Combined Chiefs of Staff before action is taken”.
  4. For text of C.C.S. 242/3, see post, p. 359.
  5. C.C.S. 247, May 23, 1943, “Directive on Organization and Operation of Military Government for Husky ”, not printed.
  6. For the text of the Directive on Organization and Operation of Military Government for Husky as later agreed upon by the Combined Chiefs of Staff, C.C.S. 247/5/D, June 28, 1943, see Harry L. Coles and Albert K. Weinberg, Civil Affairs: Soldiers Become Governors (Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1964), p. 177, in the official Army history United States Army in World War II: Special Studies. For additional documentation regarding the American-British planning for military government in Sicily, see ibid., chapter vii.
  7. C.C.S. 248, May 23, 1943, memorandum by the British Chiefs of Staff, not printed, recommended that the Combined Chiefs of Staff be asked to authorize the allocation for use by the British of certain ships suitable for conversion to large landing ships (J.C.S. Files).
  8. C.C.S. 248/1, not printed.
  9. Not found.
  10. For a summary of the Marshall directive of May 22, 1943, see Romanus and Sunderland, p. 342.
  11. An x appears in the source text alongside the latter part of the immediately preceding paragraph.