740.00119 EAC/160a: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Winant)

2815. Eacom 16. The Joint Chiefs of Staff have given further consideration to the question of surrender terms for Germany and under date of April 8 have submitted the views set forth below with the request that they be communicated to you for information and guidance:

  • “1. The Joint Chiefs of Staff are of the opinion that a long and detailed document partaking the character of an armistice or agreement with the German Government and attempting to anticipate all of the contingencies possible at the time of surrender and thereafter, should not be entered into.
  • “2. The Joint Chiefs of Staff are of the opinion that the capitulation of Germany should be recorded in a single brief instrument which should:
    • a. Include an acknowledgment on the part of Germany of the complete defeat of German armed forces on land, at sea and in the air, and of her unconditional surrender to the United States, United Kingdom, and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, acting in the interests of the United Nations.
    • b. Provide for the immediate cessation of hostilities by German armed forces on land, at sea and in the air in all theaters of war.
    • c. Include such other broad and general language as may be deemed necessary to reserve absolute authority, without limitation or condition of any character whatsoever, over the German Government, territory, people and resources, including power to completely disarm, demobilize and demilitarize Germany and to take such other action to implement the surrender terms as the three Governments may at any time deem necessary or advisable without consultation or agreement with the Germans.
  • “3. The precise form which the surrender document should take is of secondary importance provided the views herein stated are substantially reflected in the instrument.
  • “4. The Joint Chiefs of Staff anticipate that necessary adjustments of the points of view of the three Governments will be made in the councils of the European Advisory Commission, and that the discussions of the Commission will result in its formulating a surrender instrument which can be recommended to the three Governments for adoption.”

The Department hopes that, particularly in view of paragraphs 3 and 4 above, this latest statement of the Joint Chiefs of Staff will facilitate your negotiations in the Commission and that the latter will be in a position to submit recommendations in the near future.