EAC Files: File 144 I66

Memorandum by the Military Adviser to the United States Delegation to the European Advisory Commission ( Wickersham )67


A meeting of the Delegates was held at 4 p.m. on 31 May at Lancaster House. There were present M. Gousev, Chairman, Mr. Winant,68 Sir William Strang, Mr. Donaldson,69 the interpreter and myself.

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There was a long discussion on zones of occupation. Mr. Gousev said that the Soviets agreed to the principle of zones; that is occupation of each zone by forces of one of the three nations. The question of liaison is to be worked out in the Commission, as well as the machinery for control. Sir William Strang said that the demarcation of zones, as shown by the British proposal of January 15, included a revised description owing to a mistake in the earlier description. This [Page 231] line was accepted by M. Gousev. The British are willing to accept tri-partite occupation of Austria. Reference a new delimitation of the tri-partite Berlin area. British in favor of occupation by zones, one for each of the three countries, but they recommend that there be contingents in each zone from the forces of the two other countries. Similarly, contingents or token forces from other Allies in each zone. That Gousev’s point as to Commanders be discussed when the control machinery is discussed. He referred to Article 15 of the Soviet paper70 stating that the purpose of occupation was to carry out disarmament of the German armed forces. Strang said the purposes were somewhat wider than disarmament and referred to paragraph four of the British paper of 15 January, also part one. Germany to be confined to the frontiers of 1 January 1938. East Prussia to be in the Soviet zone.

Mr. Winant said that he agreed on the following points:

Three zones—each by forces of one of the countries.
N–S71 line as agreed upon by Soviets & British.
All East of that line to be Soviet.
Berlin area tri-partite.
Austria tri-partite.
No instructions or opinion as to token forces.

M. Gousev said the principles of occupation must be settled: first that occupation must be by the three nations; secondly that the machinery for occupation and the agencies should have a simple structure; thirdly that a zone when occupied by one force gave this simplicity of structure but the addition of even a small number of other troops would be complicated.

There followed a long discussion about the token forces of the other Allied countries. Gousev stated the zones were to be occupied by the forces of the three nations but that the question of Belgians and Dutch, etc. serving with the British Army, etc. belonged in a special category. Strang said the contingents would be under the command of the Zone Commander. Gousev saw the difficulty of refusing those who had been in the operations. Mr. Winant said there should be liaison and Gousev said he thought in principle there was no objection but we must work out the practical features. Strang said this was part of the control questions. It was agreed to continue this discussion at the next meeting.

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C[ornelius] W. W[ickersham]
  1. The files of the United States Delegation to the European Advisory Commission, while regarded as a part of the files of the American Embassy in London, were maintained separately from the latter files and form a separate documentary collection in the Department of State files.
  2. Addressed to Col. Thomas W. Hammond, Jr., Assistant Military Adviser to the United States Delegation to the European Advisory Commission.
  3. Ambassador Winant had just returned from his visit to Washington, May 13–May 30, where he apparently consulted on matters relating to the European Advisory Commission. No records have been found in the files regarding his discussions in Washington.
  4. E. P. Donaldson, Secretary General of the European Advisory Commission.
  5. Ante, p. 174.
  6. North–South.