J, C. S. Files

The Commanding General of the Army Air Forces (Arnold) to the Secretary of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (McFarland)

top secret

J. C. S. 1176/1

Joint Chiefs of Staff

Russian Participation in the War Against Japan

Reference: J. C. S. 11761

Note by the Secretaries

The enclosed memorandum from the Commanding General, Army Air Forces, dated 3 December 1944, has been referred to the Joint Staff Planners in collaboration with the Joint Logistics Committee for necessary action.

A. J. McFarland
E. D. Graves, Jr.
Joint Secretariat
Distribution Copy No. Distribution Copy No.
Admiral Leahy l Captain Campbell 13
General Marshall 2 & 17 Colonel Lincoln 14
Admiral King 3 Admiral McCormick 15
General Arnold 4 Admiral Cassady 16
Admiral Edwards 5 General Wood 18
General Handy 6 General Tansey 19
General Somervell 7 Captain Tobin 20
Admiral Horne 8 Colonel Benner 21
Admiral Cooke 9 Secy, JCS 22
General Hull 10 Secy, JPS 23
Admiral Duncan 11 Secy, JSSC 24
General Lindsay 12
war department
headquarters of the army air forces Washington

Memorandum for the Secretary, Joint Chiefs of Staff:

Subject: Russian Participation in the War against Japan

Reference: JCS 1176

1. I approve JCS 1176 with the recognition that it is a basic paper limited to an expression of broad principles and policies.

[Page 376]

2. I am aware that detailed planning in some cases cannot be realistically undertaken until fuller information is available concerning Russia’s capabilities and intentions. Additional facts are also required on the Far Eastern-Siberian area. There are nevertheless a number of phases of Russian participation in the war which in my opinion should be anticipated and studied without delay on the basis of information now at hand. I have in mind such problems as:

Creation of a stockpile in the Maritime Provinces.
Securing passage through the Kurile Islands.
Securing passage through La Perouse straits, with possible consideration to Russian occupation of Karafuto.
Creation, training and supply of a Russian strategic bomber force.
Development and use of the port of Petropavlovsk.
Creation and supply of an air transport line through Petropavlovsk to the Maritime Provinces.
Establishment of bases for strategic air operations from Kamchatka.
Preparation for movement of Army Air Forces and other units to the Maritime Provinces, and means of supplying these units.

3. It seems to me that these and other operations, some of which are already under consideration, must be carefully gone into immediately by the Joint Staff Planners, the Joint Logistics Committee, and other agencies concerned, with a view to submitting appropriate reports and recommendations to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Those operations which are accepted should be developed and plans prepared as to when they must be done, who is going to do them, how they are going to be done, and what supplies and forces will be required. This line of action will make it possible to negotiate more realistically with the Russians, and to inform them for example that a particular operation will take twelve months to mount, which accordingly requires a decision by the Russians at once.

4. I consider that on short notice we should be prepared to present a paper to the Russians at the next staff meeting, setting forth the point of view of the United States Chiefs of Staff. A paper of this kind obviously cannot be completed far in advance, as the situation is fluid and subject to change in the light of the work of the Roberts Mission and further facts that may become available. The Joint Staff Planners should nevertheless have ready at all times studies which are as complete as possible under existing circumstances so that a single paper can be quickly prepared setting forth our objectives, capabilities and requirements as well as those of the Russians.

H. H. Arnold

General, U. S. Army
Commanding General, Army Air Forces
  1. Not printed as such, but see J. C. S. 1176/6, post, pp. 388 394, and the memorandum from the Joint Chiefs of Staff to the President, January 23, 1945, post, pp. 396 400.