740.00119 European War 1939/2109

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

No. 3784

There are enclosed herewith copies of a document entitled “Germany: Occupation Period: Proposed Control Machinery for the Administration of Military Government in Germany” (WS–15C) dated January 27, 1944.

This document has been cleared by the Department of State and the Joint Chiefs of Staff for presentation to the European Advisory Commission. In their letter informing the Department of State of their approval, the Joint Chiefs of Staff make the following recommendation:

“In view of the military importance of this document, however, it is recommended that the United States representative on the European Advisory Commission be requested to obtain, through his Military Adviser, the concurrence of the Supreme Commander, Allied Expeditionary Force, prior to submission of the document to the Commission for consideration.”13


Memorandum by the Working Security Committee

WS 15–c

Germany: Occupation Period: Proposed Control Machinery for the Administration of Military Government in Germany

I. Necessity for a Period of Military Government

It seems reasonable to anticipate that upon the conclusion of hostilities with Germany, whether capitulation occurs before or after the actual invasion, conditions in Germany will be such as to require an initial period of military government established by the occupation forces of the U.S., U.K., and U.S.S.R. This study is intended to present a plan under which the organs of military government of the three powers may be established at the outset in a manner which will provide the framework for such other occupation agencies and supervisory bodies as may subsequently be established once the necessity [Page 186] for a strict military government has ceased. It is of course impossible to forecast at this time with exactitude the length of time during which it will be necessary to impose a strict form of military government. It is quite conceivable, however, that the necessity for this form of government might continue for a considerable period of time.

II. Necessity for a Coordinated Administration of Military Government

The successful establishment of any form of military government in Germany is dependent upon an agreement, prior to actual occupation, among the Governments of the United Kingdom, the United States and the Soviet Union as to the extent and form of such military government and the major policies to be pursued by it. A combined military government along the AMG15 pattern used in Italy does not appear feasible. The necessity of a combined or coordinated form of military government of some character, however, is apparent.
In order to provide an effective means not only of maintaining uniform security controls but of administering the highly integrated political and economic structure of Germany, it will be necessary that the plans agreed upon by the three Governments provide for the control of central governmental functions as well as for the coordination of the policies and procedures to be followed by the occupation forces of the three powers. Were all controls and services of the central government of the Reich suddenly broken at the time of military capitulation, there would arise a grave possibility of an economic and social collapse which would be deleterious to the prospects of European recuperation. Coordinated military government, if carefully planned in advance, would serve to prevent the last mentioned contingency and would circumscribe the possibility of discord among the forces of the three Governments during the occupation period.
The European Advisory Commission will, it is anticipated, recommend the general program of occupation procedures in advance of German surrender. Coordinated military government would operate upon the basis of the recommendations of the Commission as accepted by the three Governments. Instructions from the three Governments would presumably give the occupation authorities sufficient latitude of discretion to meet emergency situations but would reserve to the three Governments the authority to introduce fundamental changes of policy.

III. The Proposed Plan

A zonal system of administration appears perhaps to be the most practical solution. This proposal would divide Germany into American, [Page 187] British and Soviet zones of administration. Each zone would be administered separately but arrangements would be made for representation of each Government in each zone for the purpose of liaison. The only exception to this separation would be in the Berlin area where direct local administration would be in the hands of a combined administrative authority.
The combined administrative authority or Control Council, would, in addition to exercising direct local administration over the Berlin area, supervise those governmental and economic activities which the occupation authorities may determine should continue to function on a national basis in the interest of stable and orderly life in Germany. The Control Council would most appropriately be composed of the ranking commanding generals of the three occupying powers and their designated representatives in equal numbers from each Government. The detailed planning necessary to implement broad directives received from the three Governments would be coordinated in this body. Sub-agencies dealing with major political, military and economic problems, such as, for example, commerce and industry, relief, money and banking, public safety, displaced persons, communications, transportation, disarmament, demobilization, public welfare, etc., would probably be desirable. Each sub-agency would in turn be headed by representatives of each of the three Governments. Neither members of the armed forces nor civilians accompanying such forces would be subject to disciplinary action by other than military commanders of their own forces.
Under this proposal the separate British, American and Soviet civil affairs administrations would retain their identity and operate separately in their respective zones. The policies pursued in the separate zones would be coordinated in the Control Council in Berlin, and recommendations as to major policy changes would be formulated in the Council and transmitted to the three Governments for consideration. The essential problems of such a plan would be (1) the determination of the activities to be assigned to the Control Council and of the area to be controlled by it, and (2) the allocation of zones to the separate administrations. The situation as here indicated would leave to the separate civil affairs administrations exclusive jurisdiction over essentially local functions. In so far as national policies previously agreed upon by the three Governments were concerned, the separate zonal administrations would be primarily enforcement agencies.
In order to effectively operate the proposed plan, it would be essential that all instructions emanate from the Chiefs of Staff of the respective Governments (or from the Combined Chiefs of Staff and [Page 188] the Soviet Chief of Staff) to their respective Commanding Generals in the theater, and that the channel of instructions to the chief civil affairs officers of each of the three administrative zones be from their respective theater commanders. The Control Council in Berlin would have no command functions outside of the Berlin area. Any important change of policy with respect to civil affairs in Germany would be contained in instructions from the three Governments.
Annexed hereto is a chart16 suggestive of the form which military government in Germany would take under the plan herein proposed.
  1. Telegram 2167, Eacom 14, dated March 22, 8 p.m., to London, stated: “Sufficient compliance with the recommendations of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as set forth in instruction no. 3784, has been obtained, and you may submit WS 15–C to the Commission.” (740.00119 European War/2109)
  2. Filed separately under Lot 55 D 375, Cabinet 85, Drawer 3. This memorandum was formally introduced in the European Advisory Commission on March 25, 1944, as document E.A.C. (44) 16, Memorandum by the United States Representative to the European Advisory Commission: “Proposal for Control Machinery for the Administration of Military Government in Germany during the Occupation”; copy transmitted to the Department by the Ambassador in the United Kingdom in his despatch 14713, March 28.
  3. Allied Military Government.
  4. Not printed.