J. C. S. Files

Joint Chiefs of Staff Minutes1
top secret

1. a. Approval of the Minutes of the J. C. S. 184th Meeting2

General Kuter requested that the last sentence of the remarks of General Anderson in Item 7 be changed to read: “The general directive includes the bombing of U-boat building and assembly yards and bases.”

b. Approval of the Minutes of the C. C. S. 183d Meeting3

General Marshall requested the amendment of his remarks in the third paragraph of Item 1 to read as follows: “General Marshall said that in recent discussions General Eisenhower had explained that he would have to take a decision by 1 February as to whether to continue with General Bradley’s operations or to stop them and start the movement of troops preliminary to launching Grenade .”

The Joint Chiefs of Staff:—

a. Approved the minutes of the J. C. S. 184th Meeting, subject to the amendment agreed during the discussion.

b. Agreed to recommend that the Combined Chiefs of Staff approve the conclusions of the C. C. S. 183d Meeting and approve the detailed record of the meeting, subject to the amendment agreed during the above discussion and to later minor amendments.

2. Strategy in the Mediterranean
(C. C. S. 773)4

General Marshall said that the Secretaries had prepared a draft of the directive to SACMED proposed by the British Chiefs of Staff, which showed the amendments agreed by the United States Chiefs of Staff in their previous meeting. General McNarney’s views, which had just been received, indicate that on balance he prefers to have British divisions rather than American divisions transferred to France. Concerning the tactical air force, General McNarney expresses satisfaction with the present air-ground ratio. He considers that a proportionate reduction in fighter-bomber strength should accompany a reduction in the number of divisions. He considers the medium bombers should stay in Italy.

In light of General McNarney’s message and the discussions that have taken place, it seems that no American divisions should be taken from Italy and that the draft directive to General Alexander proposed by the British with the amendments already agreed to by [Page 493] the U. S. Chiefs of Staff and agreed in part by the Combined Chiefs of Staff should now be approved by the Combined Chiefs of Staff and dispatched to General Alexander, with an information copy to General Eisenhower.

General Kuter proposed that a new paragraph 5 should be added to the directive as follows:

“The U. S. Twelfth Air Force, less such units as may be selected by agreement between you and SCAEF, shall be made available for transfer to SCAEF, together with necessary service units.”

An appropriate sequence of paragraphs in the directive was then discussed and agreed.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff:—

Approved the draft memorandum to the Combined Chiefs of Staff prepared by the Secretaries, as amended during the discussion. (Subsequently circulated as C. C. S. 773/1.5)

3. Equipment of Allied and Liberated Forces
(J. C. S. 12406 and NAF 8415)

General Marshall read a brief of J. C. S. 1240 and proposed that the Joint Chiefs of Staff approve the recommendations of the Joint Logistics Committee, subject to the following amendments:

Page 5, delete the last three lines of paragraph 11 and after the word “reviewing” add “NAF 841 again.”

Page 8, line 2, insert the words “already approved in principle” between the words “provision” and “of.”

Page 8, paragraph 9, line 3, after the word “review” delete the remainder of the sentence and substitute therefor “NAF 841 again.”

General Somervell said he felt certain that when the British restudy their requirements for the supply of Greek forces, they would find that they could not meet them. It might then be suggested that the agreed figure of equipment for 460,000 liberated manpower in Europe could be reduced to 400,000 and the equipment for the 60,000 remaining be applied to the requirement for the Greek Army.

After further discussion,

The Joint Chiefs of Staff:—

Approved the recommendations of the Joint Logistics Committee in J. C. S. 1240, subject to the amendments proposed by General Marshall. (Memorandum subsequently circulated as C. C. S. 768/1.7)

[Page 494]

4. Operations in Southeast Asia Command
(C. C. S. 452/35, 452/368 and C. C. S. 747/79)

General Marshall said that in C. C. S. 452/35 the British proposed a directive to Admiral Mountbatten. In C. C. S. 747/7 the British propose that transfer of forces from India-Burma to China be subject to C. C. S. agreements. The United States Chiefs of Staff in C. C. S. 452/36 set forth a policy with respect to U. S. resources in the India-Burma Theater.

The point at issue appears to be whether the United States Chiefs of Staff can order transfers of resources when they do not jeopardize British forces engaged in approved operations in Burma or whether every transfer requires agreement by the Combined Chiefs of Staff as proposed by the British. The U. S. proposal as now written appears to safeguard sufficiently the British interests. Under the British proposal the Combined Chiefs of Staff would become involved in lengthy discussions of purely operational matters and the transfer of one air squadron or one Quartermaster company would be the subject for C. C. S. decision unless acceptable to SACSEA.

No compromise should be accepted which involves C. C. S. approval of transfer or requires discussion in the Combined Chiefs of Staff except where the British Chiefs think their forces are jeopardized. The U. S. paper provides clearly for this.

General Marshall recommended that the United States Chiefs of Staff should recommend to the Combined Chiefs of Staff the approval of the proposals made in the U. S. memorandum in C. C. S. 452/36. By this action both the policy for the transfer of U. S. resources and the directive for Admiral Mountbatten will be approved. The British in their paper state their willingness to discuss means of reducing the time occupied in the discussion of projected moves. He recommended that the United States Chiefs of Staff should listen to whatever the British may propose in this respect since these discussions will be necessary when contemplated transfers might place British forces in jeopardy.

The Secretary stated that the British Chiefs of Staff are prepared to withdraw their paper, C. C. S. 747/7, if the United States Chiefs of Staff will agree to delete the words “British forces engaged in” in the eighth line of the second paragraph of C. C. S. 452/36, which paper would then be acceptable to them.

Colonel Lincoln said that the proposed British amendment would nullify the intentions of the United States Chiefs of Staff because it would transfer the “jeopardy” from the “forces engaged” to “operations.” While the jeopardy to the forces actually engaged in operations [Page 495] was a factual matter, it would be difficult to determine from the existing circumstances the question of the jeopardy of approved operations, some of which might not yet have been initiated. This was a matter over which there could be considerable difference of opinion. Discussion of such a point was likely to be time-consuming. He recommended that the United States Chiefs of Staff propose to the British, in lieu of their amendment, the substitution of the word “the” for the word “British” in the same line of the paragraph referred to above.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff:—

Agreed to adhere to the position outlined by them in C. C. S. 452/36.

5. Pacific Operations
(C. C. S. 417/11)10

Admiral King said that this paper was on the agenda for the purpose of reaffirming the position of the United States Chiefs of Staff on the operations for the defeat of Japan. He doubted the possibility of maintaining and defending a sea route to the Sea of Okhotsk from bases in Kamchatka alone, but suggested reaffirming the paper for planning purposes.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff:—

Reaffirmed their approval of C. C. S. 417/11.

6. U-Boat Threat
(C. C. S. 774 and 774/1)11

General Marshall said that C. C. S. 774, upon which action had been deferred at the C. C. S. 183d Meeting, was the U. S. proposal for the directive to Air Marshal Bottomley and General Spaatz for the disruption of the German U-boat program. In C. C. S. 774/1 the British have presented a paper on the U-boat threat during 1945.

Admiral King was of the opinion that the Combined Chiefs of Staff would be obliged to accept the directive proposed in C. C. S. 774 in the light of the British paper which implied that immediate action was necessary. He suggested that the British paper should be noted by the Combined Chiefs of Staff.

General Marshall drew attention to the fact that the British paper would provoke serious complications in the allotment of tonnage being considered in current shipping studies and would provide the British with arguments for the increase of the figure of 8 percent which had been set for estimated shipping deficiencies. He was merely examining this aspect of the problem in order to formulate some reply to the British if the point were raised.

[Page 496]

Admiral King felt that the British paper might be accepted if the acceptance was without prejudice to the shipping deficiencies established in the current studies. He advised against any attempt to revise the percentage figure of assumed losses at this time.

Admiral Cooke suggested that it might be preferable to note the paper and review the deficiencies in sailings at some future date.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff:—

Agreed to recommend that the Combined Chiefs of Staff take note of C. C. S. 774/1 and review the percentage of deficiencies in sailings on 1 April 1945.

7. Strategy in Northwest Europe

In closed session,

The Joint Chiefs of Staff:—

Agreed to recommend that the Combined Chiefs of Staff accept SCAF 180 (Enclosure “B” to C. C. S. 761/3) as amended by SCAF 194, and take note of SCAEF’s dispatch No. S–77211 of 31 January 1945.12

Message by General Kuter to General Arnold Dated 1 February 1945

“The following letter received this date:

‘My dear Kuter. Since the British Chiefs of Staff issued CCS 69113 about British participation in the very long range bombing of Japan and the United States Chiefs of Staff replied in CCS 691/1.13 we have made considerable progress in the development of our VLR bombing potential.

‘The bombing of the “Tirpitz” proved that it is possible to increase the all up weight of the Lancaster beyond our expectations and we now hope to achieve an effective radius of action of some 1,500 miles carrying a useful load of the order of 6,000 pounds with either the Lancaster or with its replacement the Lincoln. We are however carrying on with flight refueling experiments as an insurance.

‘The rate at which we will be able to bring our Bomber Force into action against Japan cannot finally be determined until we know more about the bases that will be available for our operations and the facilities we can count on at those bases. Assuming that bases are made available I estimate that our first squadrons could be fully operational in the Pacific 7 months after Germany is defeated, and the whole force some 5 months later.

‘This RAF force will be thoroughly experienced in the technique of night bombing and in sea-mining, and will be capable of dropping [Page 497] the very effective 1,500 pound British mines. I feel that particularly in these respects the Force will be able to make a valuable contribution to our efforts against Japan.

‘I am anxious to get our plans for the RAF very long range Force into more concrete form, particularly with regard to the rate of its deployment, the provision of bases, availability of common user items, local defence and the general administrative arrangements for the contingent.

‘I would like to send the AOC designate of our Force together with a small number of staff officers, over to the United States at an early date in order to make contact with your Air Force authorities and the officers under whom he would be serving, to make as much progress as possible with these arrangements. It would also be helpful if he could visit the Pacific area and learn at first hand something about the operating conditions in that Theatre. Following this visit, I propose that the AOC would return to the United Kingdom to continue with the preparation of his Force. I realize the difficulties of deciding on the exact base facilities that will be available so far in advance, but I am anxious to make a definite start even on a small scale, and would be prepared to initiate planning on the assumption that you would make available to us, say, 4 bases for heavy bombers 6 months after Germany is defeated.

‘I would very much like to discuss this VLR project with you during this conference, either here or at Magneto .

‘Yours sincerely, Charles Portal.’

“Anticipating such proposal, I have cleared with JCS a reply which will infer favorable consideration after detailed presentation of desired visit to Theater at proposed conference here or at Magneto .

“Understand Air Marshal Hugh Pugh Lloyd is AOC designate. Expect to arrange that Lloyd and party of 8 to 10 of his elected staff will arrive Washington after March 1 to spend 2 or 3 days in Office of Assistant Chief of Air Staff Plans studying probable course of air war on Japan and then 4 or 5 days in Headquarters XX Air Force for familiarization with means and methods of command and operations of XX Air Force and then visit to XX Air Force base in Mariannas and probably to Luzon.

“Expect that 36 squadrons of VLR Lancasters or Lincolns under Lloyd will operate as a unit of XX Air Force.

“All discussions will be based on condition that RAF unit will provide own aviation engineers and all services, will build, maintain and operate own bases, will provide all echelons of aviation maintenance and in general will be absolutely and completely self-supporting.

“Will tie resurrection of Weary Willie project into same conversation and hope to establish full freedom for our development and operation from French bases and freedom to develop and operate accurately controlled types from UK bases.”

Cricket 55 (1 February 1945)

  1. J. C. S. 185th Meeting.
  2. Ante, pp. 481484.
  3. Ante, pp. 485490.
  4. See ante, p. 485, footnote 5.
  5. Not printed.
  6. Not printed as such, but subsequently circulated as C. C. S. 768/1, which is printed post, pp. 522524.
  7. Not printed.
  8. Post, pp. 522524.
  9. Not printed.
  10. Post, pp. 524525.
  11. Ante, pp. 395396.
  12. Not printed, but see coverage of this subject in the report of the Combined Chiefs of Staff to the President and the Prime Minister at Yalta, post, p. 828.
  13. See ante, p. 464, footnote 8.
  14. Not printed.
  15. Not printed.