J.C.S. Files

Memorandum by the British Chiefs of Staff

top secret
C.C.S. 684

Rankin” Planning in the Mediterranean Theater

We have noted the request from General Wilson in his telegram (Medcos 181)1 for a firm directive on his responsibilities for Rankin in the Mediterranean.
We ask that the Combined Chiefs of Staff should agree to the immediate dispatch of the enclosed message to General Wilson.2
[Page 439]

The Combined Chiefs of Staff to the Supreme Allied Commander, Mediterranean Theater (Wilson)

top secret

Following for General Wilson from Chiefs of Staff.

Reference Medcos 1533 and 181.

1. Your planning for Rankin in the Mediterranean Theatre of Operations should proceed on the following basis.

Areas of Occupation

2. You should plan to seize immediate control of countries in the Mediterranean Theatre of Operations as follows:—

Austria with four divisions and small tactical air force. Instructions have already been issued in Fan 410 and Fan 411.4
Greece with approximately a division of British troops and small air forces. Instructions have already been issued in Fan 409.3
The Dodecanese with approximately 2,400 men.
Venezia Giulia with approximately one division.

3. It is not intended that you should station forces in Yugoslavia or Albania beyond guards which may be required in connection with distribution of supplies. No immediate action by you will be required in Hungary or Roumania.

4. It is not the present intention to send any British troops to Bulgaria.

5. It is intended in due course to offer British naval assistance in the administration of the Danube and in particular in the clearance of mines. On no account however will any British naval forces enter the Danube except after prior agreement with the Russians.

Availability of Forces

6. In estimating what forces are available for the above operations, you should bear the following considerations in mind:

As stated in Cosmed 127,3 United States forces will be withdrawn as soon as practicable after the cessation of hostilities.
It will probably be the policy to withdraw Dominion forces as early as possible after the defeat of Germany for repatriation at an early date. Pending repatriation they should not be employed on occupational duties in Austria, Greece or Dodecanese or for internal security duties in Middle East until after discussion with Dominion Governments, which is being initiated forthwith.
The four British Indian divisions in your command will be withdrawn as early as possible and should not be used for Rankin operations.
French and Italian divisions will not be used.
The internal security commitment in the Middle East after the defeat of Germany will require three divisions from forces at present in the Mediterranean and Middle East.

7. After making allowance for the above considerations, we calculate that you should have sufficient forces to meet the commitments in paragraph 2 above and still retain a small reserve for contingencies.

8. All the above applies to Rankin only, i.e., the immediate seizure of control in enemy and enemy occupied territories. Direction upon the final occupation of Europe after the establishment of control will be issued later.

  1. Ante, p. 224.
  2. At their 176th Meeting, September 16, 1944, the Combined Chiefs of Staff approved the message contained in the enclosure. See ante, p. 375. The message was sent as telegram No. Fan 418.
  3. Not printed.
  4. Neither printed.
  5. Not printed.
  6. Not printed.