J. C. S. Files

No. 1263
Memorandum by the British Chiefs of Staff
top secret
C. C. S. 877/4

Basic Objectives, Strategy, and Policies

1.
We have considered the latest proposals of the United States Chiefs of Staff in C. C. S. 877/2.1 In the attached schedule we have set out in one column the document as proposed by the United States Chiefs of Staff, together with the amendments which we should like to see introduced. In the right-hand column we set out our comments.
2.
The document, as far as paragraph 6, covers presently known military requirements. Against the possibility that additional military requirements may emerge which might conflict with presently accepted civil shipping programmes, it is considered desirable to add a further paragraph in the terms set out in paragraph 7.
3.
We recommend that the Combined Chiefs of Staff adopt the basic objectives, strategy, and policies as amended in the attached, and incorporate them in the final report of the Terminal Conference.
[Enclosure]
top secret
Memorandum by United States Chiefs of Staff With Proposed Amendments by British Chiefs of Staff Comments by British Chiefs of Staff
i. over-all objective
1. In conjunction with other Allies to bring about at the earliest possible date the unconditional surrender of Japan.
ii. over-all strategic concept for the prosecution of the war
2. In cooperation with other Allies to establish and maintain, as necessary, military control of Germany and Austria.
3. In cooperation with other Allies to bring about at the earliest possible date the defeat of Japan by: lowering Japanese ability and will to resist by establishing sea and air blockades, conducting intensive air bombardment, and destroying Japanese air and naval strength; invading and seizing objectives in the Japanese home islands as the main effort; conducting such operations against objectives in other than the Japanese home islands as will contribute to the main effort; establishing absolute military control of Japan; and liberating Japanese occupied territory if required. We fully agree that the first priority should be given to the main operations against the Japanese Islands.
We trust, however, that other operations in the Outer Zone, which will achieve the secondary object of evicting the Japanese from all occupied territories, will receive the fullest possible consideration.
[Page 1301]iii. basic undertakings and policies for the prosecution of the war

4. The following basic undertakings are considered fundamental to the prosecution of the war:—

  • *a. Maintain the security of the Western Hemisphere and the British Commonwealth.
  • b. Maintain the war-making capacity of the United States and the British Isles in so far as it is connected with the prosecution of this war.

a. Maintain the security and war-making capacity of the Western Hemisphere and the British Commonwealth as necessary for the fulfillment of the strategic concept.

b. c. Support the war-making capacity of our forces, in all areas, with first priority given to those forces in or destined for combat areas.

c. d. Maintain vital overseas lines of communication.

The wording of paragraph 4 b. as proposed by the United States Chiefs of Staff does not allow for the maintenance of the war-making capacity of such countries as Canada, India or Australia, all of which are making an important contribution towards the prosecution of the war. War-making capacity cannot be confined solely to that required for the defeat of Japan since it is also necessary to meet the requirements for military control of Germany and Austria as stated in the overall strategic concept for the prosecution of the war.
If first priority is given only to the support of the war-making capacity of forces in the combat areas, this might lead to the withholding of priority from the forces destined to relieve or support them. For example, the forces in India are required for maintaining the forces in active operations and providing reinforcements. As is known many installations supporting the operations [Page 1302]in Southeast Asia Command are outside those areas which can strictly be termed combat areas. Unless these requirements are recognized, the war-making capacity of forces in combat areas will be jeopardised.
5. In order to attain the overall objective, first priority in the provision of forces and resources of the United States and Great Britain, including reorientation from the European Theater to the Pacific and Far East, will be given to meeting requirements of tasks necessary to the execution of the over-all strategic concept and to the basic undertakings fundamental to the prosecution of the war.
The invasion of Japan and operations directly connected therewith are the supreme operations in the war against Japan; forces and resources will be allocated on the required scale to assure that invasion can be accomplished at the earliest practicable date. No other operations will be undertaken which hazard the success of, or delay, these main operations.
6. The following additional tasks will be undertaken in order to assist in the execution of the over-all strategic concept:
a.
Encourage Russian entry into the war against Japan. [Page 1303]Provide such aid to her war-making capacity as may be necessary and practicable in connection therewith.
b.
Undertake such measures as may be necessary and practicable in order to aid the war effort of China as an effective ally against Japan.
c.
Provide assistance to such of the forces of liberated areas as can fulfill an active and effective role in the present war. or are required to maintain world order in the interests of the war effort. Within the limits of our available resources assist co-belligerents to the extent they are able to employ this assistance in the present war. Having regard to the successful accomplishment of basic undertakings, to provide such supplies to the liberated areas as will effectively contribute to the capacity of the United Nations to prosecute the present war.
d.
In cooperation with other Allies conduct operations, if required, to liberate enemy-occupied areas.

7. Cargo Shipping
Present estimates of the requirements for cargo shipping indicate the position to be sufficiently manageable to provide for the maximum effort in the prosecution of the war against Japan, for the maintenance of the [Page 1304]war-making capacity of the British Commonwealth of Nations and the Western Hemisphere, for an additional amount for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the United Kingdom, and for supplies to liberated areas. Should further military demands arise for maintaining the maximum war effort which would bring about a substantial conflict with British rehabilitation and reconstruction plans, and supplies to liberated areas, the shipping situation will be examined by the two Governments at time in the light of changed conditions.
The present wording would appear to limit this assistance strictly to those forces which can take part in the war against Japan. We feel, however, that the necessity for the maintenance of world order, particularly in Europe, must be recognised. Having brought about the liberation of Europe, it would be illogical to allow unrest to occur owing to lack of forces in the liberated areas to keep order.
The last sentence of paragraph 6 c. is unnecessary as it is now dealt with in paragraph 7 below.
  1. Document No. 601, printed in vol. i .
  2. Words underscored are proposed additions. Words italicized are proposed deletions. [Footnote in the source copy.]