President Roosevelt to the British Prime Minister (Churchill)94

457. For the Former Naval Person.94a Combined Chiefs of Staff have reached an impasse on the subject of countries and areas to be occupied by British and United States forces in Rankin95 or following Overlord.96 U.S. Chiefs of Staff have pointed out that a change-over from spheres of responsibility connection Overlord to spheres of later occupational responsibility desired by U.S. is militarily feasible and no vital objection can be made on that score. Matter now appears necessary for study by you and me in order to have decision before Overlord and to proceed with plans. United States proposals are set out in C.C.S. 426/1 paragraph 18. (Report to President and Prime Minister, Sextant Conference.)97

I am absolutely unwilling to police France and possibly Italy and the Balkans as well. After all, France is your baby and will take a lot of nursing in order to bring it to the point of walking alone. It would be very difficult for me to keep in France my military force or management for any length of time.

  1. Copy of telegram obtained from the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, Hyde Park, N.Y.
  2. Code name for Winston Churchill.
  3. Code name for the return of Allied forces to Continental Europe in the event of a sudden weakening of German resistance. For discussions of Rankin planning, see Gordon A. Harrison, Cross-Channel Attack, in the official Army history United States Army in World War II: The European Theater of Operations (Washington, Government Printing Office, 1951), pp. 79–82, and, in the same series, Forrest C. Pogue, The Supreme Command (Washington, Government Printing Office, 1954), pp. 104–106.
  4. Code name for the Allied plan for the invasion of northwest Europe, spring 1944. The above-cited works contain extensive discussions of the planning for Overlord.
  5. For the Report of the Combined Chiefs of Staff to President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill, designated C.C.S. 426/1, dated December 6, 1943, presenting the agreed summary of the conclusions reached at the Sextant Conference (The Cairo Conferences of November 22–26 and December 2–7, 1943), see Foreign Relations, The Conferences at Cairo and Tehran, 1943, p. 810. For additional documentation regarding the allocation of zones of occupation in Germany and throughout northwest Europe, see ibid., index, p. 907, entry on “Germany: Occupation zones in, allocation of”.