J. C. S. Files

No. 1285
Memorandum by the British Chiefs of Staff1
top secret
C. C. S. 892/1 (Terminal)

Directive to the Supreme Allied Commander Southeast Asia

We submit for the approval of the Combined Chiefs of Staff the attached draft directive to the Supreme Allied Commander Southeast Asia.2

[Enclosure]
top secret

Draft

Directive to the Supreme Allied Commander Southeast Asia3

1. Your primary task is the opening of the Straits of Malacca at the earliest possible moment. It is also intended that British Commonwealth land forces should take part in the main operations against Japan which have been agreed as the supreme operations in the war; and that operations should continue in the Outer Zone to the extent that forces and resources permit.4

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

British Participation in Main Operations against Japan.

7. It has been agreed in principle that a British Commonwealth land force of from three to five divisions and [, if possible,5] a small tactical air force should take part in the main operations against Japan in the Spring of 1946. [Units of the East Indies Fleet may also take part.6] Certain important factors relating to this are still under examination.

8. You will be required to provide a proportion of this force together with the long range portion of two assault forces.7 Units of [Page 1339]the East Indies Fleet may also take part.8 The exact composition of this force and its role and the mounting and supporting arrangements will be discussed between [Admiral Nimitz,9] General MacArthur and the British Force Commanders, and will receive final approval by the Combined Chiefs of Staff.

9. The requirements for the force taking part in the main operations against Japan must have priority over all the other tasks indicated below.

Operations in the Outer Zone.

10. Subject to the fulfillment of the higher priority commitments given above, you will, within the limits of available resources, carry out operations designed to:

a.
Complete the liberation of Malaya.
b.
Maintain pressure on the Japanese across the Burma–Siam frontier.
c.
Capture the key areas of Siam.
d.
Establish bridgeheads in Java and/or Sumatra to enable the subsequent clearance of these areas to be undertaken in due course.

11. You will submit a programme of operations to the Combined Chiefs of Staff as soon as you are in a position to do so.

Development of Bases.

12. You will develop Singapore and such other bases as you may require to the extent necessary for operations against the Japanese.

  1. Considered by the Combined Chiefs of Staff at their 197th Meeting, July 20. See ante, p. 162.
  2. Admiral Lord Louis Mountbatten.
  3. After making a number of amendments in the text of this draft directive, the Combined Chiefs of Staff approved the text, as amended, and it was circulated as the enclosure to C. C. S. 892/2, July 20. The amendments are indicated in the succeeding footnotes.
  4. For paragraphs 2–6, omitted here, see the enclosure to document No. 1269.
  5. The words in brackets were added in C. C. S. 892/2.
  6. The sentence in brackets was added at this point in C. C. S. 892/2.
  7. In C. C. S. 892/2 the words “assault lift for two divisions” were substituted for the last seven words of this sentence.
  8. In C. C. S. 892/2 this sentence was dropped from this paragraph and inserted in paragraph 7 (see footnote 6, ante).
  9. The words in brackets were added in C. C. S. 892/2.