J. C. S. Files

Report by the Combined Staff Planners1

Enclosure to C.C.S. 244/1

Implementation of Assumed Basic Undertakings and Specific Operations for the Conduct of the War, 1943–1944: Availability of Resources To Meet the Requirements of Critical Strategy

summary of conclusions

1. We have examined the available means of the United Nations with the object of assessing our ability to carry out the policy agreed by the Combined Chiefs of Staff.

2. A summary of this policy, which has been taken as the basis of our investigation, is attached as Annex I.

3. Our conclusions are set out below.

Ground Forces (Annex II)2

4. All the ground forces required can be made available.

Naval Forces (Annex III)2

5. If a covering force is required for the operations to capture Akyab and Ramree, and if the Italian fleet has not been eliminated, [Page 234] some diversion of U.S. naval forces may be required (see Annex III, paras. 7 to 10). Subject to this, all the naval forces required can be made available.

Air Forces (Annex IV)3

6. Broadly there are sufficient air forces to meet all requirements in all theaters.

7. For Operation Roundhammer there will be sufficient air forces in the U.K. with the exception of transport aircraft, the provision of which needs further investigation (see Appendix “A” to Annex IV). in the absence of any detailed plan for Rounddhammer, it has not been possible to estimate the requirements of gliders. This will have to be the subject of urgent study by the Roundhammer planners.

8. For operations in Burma it will be seen there are only small deficiencies which can probably be reconciled by adjustments within the theater. (See Annex IV, Appendix “C”).

9. Subject to the development of air fields and necessary communications in Assam, the air transport and defense requirements of the air route into China, up to 10,000 tons per month, can be met.

Assault Shipping and Landing Craft (Annex V)4

10. Provided the casualties in operations are no greater than we have allowed for, and provided that the U.S. and British planned productions are maintained, all the assault shipping and landing craft required can be made available.

11. The allocations set out in Appendix “B” to Annex V are recommended.

12. Further recommendations are:

If production permits 6 naval pontoon causeways or treadway bridges should be supplied to the Indian Ocean Area, to arrive simultaneously with the L.S.T. from the U.S., and 56 should be supplied for Roundhammer .
There is need for one floating dock capable of docking an L.S.T. in the Indian Ocean Area.

Supply of Critical Items (Annex VI)3

13. In the absence of detailed plans of operations for each theater it is not possible to give finalized requirements and to estimate detailed shortages of critical items. A provisional estimate is, however, set out in Annex VI. With the exception of steel for landing craft construction, these deficiencies do not appear serious. We recommend [Page 235] that the possibilities of providing these items, and particularly the steel should be further examined.

Shipping (Annex VII)5

14. The examination of the shipping resources of the United Nations shows that so far as can be foreseen now, and on the assumption that future losses do not exceed the agreed estimate (C.C.S. 174),* personnel shipping will be available to permit of the optimum deployment of United Nations forces up to the limits imposed by the availability of cargo shipping.

The optimum deployment of available United Nations cargo shipping to meet the requirements of the basic undertakings and projected operations for 1943/1944 reveals small deficiencies in the third and fourth quarters of 1943 and first quarter of 1944 and a surplus of sailings in the second and third quarters in 1944. The deficiencies are small and, if properly spread over all the programs concerned, the effect will not be unmanageable.6


15. We have not been able to include a survey of the oil position in the various theaters but we feel that the whole question of stocks and of tankers will require urgent examination in the light of decisions taken at the Trident Conference.

Annex I

Basis of Investigation

The following operations and undertakings have been used as a basis for this investigation. They are not arranged in order of priority.

i. use of the azores islands

Preparation and earmarking of the necessary British forces for the occupation of the Azores.

[Page 236]

ii. operations in northwestern europe

Combined air offensive from the United Kingdom.
Cross-Channel operations.

To be launched from the United Kingdom with a target date of 1 May 1944 to secure a lodgment on the Continent from which further offensive operations can be carried out. The scope of the operation will be such as to necessitate the following forces being present and available for use in the United Kingdom by 1 May 1944.

Assault: 5 Infantry Divisions (simultaneosuly loaded in landing craft)
2 Infantry Divisions—Follow-up
2 Air-borne Divisions
Total: 9 Divisions in the assault
Build-up: Available for movement into lodgment area—20 Divisions.

iii. operations in the mediterranean

Bombing of Ploeşti by U.S. Army Air Forces from bases in North Africa.
Continuing directed operations against Sicily.
Such operations in exploitation of Husky as are best calculated to eliminate Italy from the war and to contain the maximum number of German forces. The Allied Commander in Chief in North Africa may use for his operations all those forces available in the Mediterranean Area except for four American and three British Divisions which will be held in readiness from 1 November onward for withdrawal to take part in operations from the United Kingdom, provided that the naval vessels required will be approved by the Combined Chiefs of Staff when the plans are submitted. The additional air forces provided on a temporary basis for Husky will not be considered available.

iv. operations in the pacific—far east theater

Operations in Burma
The concentration of available resources as first priority within the Assam-Burma theater on the building up and increasing of the air route to China to a capacity of 10,000 tons a month by early fall, and the development of air facilities in Assam with a view to—
Intensifying air operations against the Japanese in Burma.
Maintaining increased American Air Forces in China.
Maintaining the flow of air-borne supplies to China.
Vigorous and aggressive land and air operations from Assam into Burma via Ledo and Imphal, in step with an advance by Chinese forces from Yunnan, with the object of containing as many Japanese forces as possible, covering the air route to China, and as an essential step towards the opening of the Burma Road.
The capture of Akyab and of Ramree Island by amphibious operations, with possible exploitations.
The interruption of Japanese sea communications into Burma.
Conduct air operations in and from China.
Continue the directed operations in the Solomons-Bismarck-New Guinea Area.
Seizure of the Solomons, the Bismarck Archipelago and Japanese-held New Guinea.
Seizure of the Marshall and Caroline Islands.
Intensification of operations against enemy lines of communications.
Ejection of the Japanese from the Aleutians.

v. other undertakings

Maintain the security and war-making capacity of the Western Hemisphere and British Isles.
Support and maintain the war-making capacity of our forces in all areas.
Maintain vital overseas lines of communications, with particular emphasis on the defeat of the U–boat menace.
Undertake such measures as may be necessary to provide China with a volume of supplies to keep China actively in the war against Japan.
To sustain the Soviet forces by the greatest volume of munitions that can be supplied and transported to Russia without militating against the attainment of the over-all objectives.
To provide for the fulfillment of British undertakings to Turkey with due regard to other important commitments.
To provide for the maintenance of prisoners of war.
To provide for the economic support of countries occupied by the United Nations.
To rearm and reequip French forces in North Africa as rapidly as the availability of shipping and equipment will allow, but as secondary commitment to the requirements of British and United States forces in the various theaters.
  1. Circulated under cover of the following note by the Secretaries of the Combined Chiefs of Staff: “The attached revision of C.C.S. 244 incorporates the amendments agreed upon by the Combined Chiefs of Staff at their 94th Meeting and certain changes requested by the Combined Staff Planners for purposes of necessary editing and clarification.” C.C.S. 244, May 22, 1943, is not printed. For the minutes of the 94th meeting of the Combined Chiefs of Staff, see ante, p. 180.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Not printed.
  4. Not printed.
  5. See Coakley and Leighton, pp. 72, 75.
  6. Not printed.
  7. See Coakley and Leighton, pp. 77, 85.
  8. See paragraph 6 of annex ii. [Footnote in the source text. Neither annex ii nor C.C.S. 174 is printed. The “agreed estimate” referred to here was as follows:

    For non-tankers permanently in use for the fighting services—
    • 0.91 percent per month for the whole of 1943 (to be adjusted for planned operational hazards).
    For other non-tanker shipping:—
    • 2.39 percent per month for the first half of 1943.
    • 1.91 percent per month for the second half of 1943.

    This “agreed estimate” was subject to revision on July 1, 1943.]

  9. See the “Combined Statement Covering Dry Cargo Shipping Availabilities and Requirements,” May 23, 1945, by Douglas and Leathers, post, p. 313.