740.00119 Control (Italy)/7–1745

No. 1108
The Joint Chiefs of Staff to the President
top secret

Memorandum for the President

The Joint Chiefs of Staff have given careful consideration to the memorandum from the Secretary of State to the President dated 4 July 1945 on the subject of “Retention of Allied Forces in Italy.”1

In his memorandum the Secretary of State proposed that five Allied divisions, in addition to the two in Venezia Giulia, be retained in Italy until major problems are settled. This will require the retention in Italy of one U. S. division in addition to the present estimate of one for the Venezia Giulia commitment.

[Page 1098]

Under present redeployment plans there will be excess U. S. forces in Italy until December, 1945 and in Europe until April, 1946. It is thus not necessary at this time to accept a commitment to retain additional forces in Italy, and it is militarily undesirable to make a commitment for their retention until the situation requiring the presence of those forces becomes more apparent. Sufficient air forces remain in Europe even after redeployment to provide any necessary show of air forces in Italy.

In view of the above it is suggested that the question of the desirability of retaining additional United States forces in Italy be reexamined late in 1945, in the light of the situation as it will have developed.

In this connection, the Joint Chiefs of Staff have taken the position with the Combined Chiefs of Staff that a review of the situation in Italy should be made about 1 September 1945, with a view to early dissolution of the Allied Command, Mediterranean.2

For the Joint Chiefs of Staff:
William D Leahy

Fleet Admiral, U. S. Navy, Chief of Staff to the Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy.