Truman Papers

No. 514
Memorandum by the Joint Strategic Survey Committee of the Joint Chiefs of Staff 1
top secret

Dismemberment of Germany

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Since the political orientation of Poland with respect to either the Eastern or Western European powers cannot be foreseen, this Committee is reluctant to recommend extension of the western boundary of Poland to the Oder River. However, from the military point of view, it would appear impracticable to offer serious objections to this transfer of territory from Germany if the U. S. S. R. insists upon it. The bargaining possibilities of this issue, however, should be recognized

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  1. This memorandum was prepared in response to a request from Leahy (document No. 155) for recommendations which would be “useful to the President in preparing himself for the [Berlin] conference”. It was forwarded to Leahy by the Secretary of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on June 26, together with other reports, under cover of a memorandum which stated explicitly: “These reports represent the views of the committees only and have not been approved by the Joint Chiefs of Staff.” Leahy subsequently passed it to Truman.
  2. For another extract from this memorandum, see document No. 332.