J. C. S. Files

Joint Chiefs of Staff Minutes 1
top secret

1. Approval of the Minutes, 185th Meeting of C. C. S. 2

The Joint Chiefs of Staff:—

Agreed to recommend approval of the conclusions of the Minutes of the 185th Meeting of the Combined Chiefs of Staff and the approval of the detailed record of the meeting subject to later minor amendments.

2. British Proposal to Abandon the Plan to Return to “Cricket


Admiral Leahy said that this was a memorandum from the British Chiefs of Staff which proposed that the Combined Chiefs of Staff complete [Page 592]all of their unfinished business at Magneto and abandon the plan to return to Malta. The suggestion was open to discussion.

General Marshall said that the proposal was agreeable to him as the next best thing to do. He preferred to have the United States Shipping Representatives sent to Magneto to complete their studies and, if necessary, to detach the necessary number from this place to provide space.

General Somervell explained that the point at issue was the agreement on a planning date for the end of the war with Germany. The dates of 1 April, 1 July, and 1 November had already been considered,4 but it was necessary to settle on one date. He suggested that an agreement be reached with the British on the date of 1 July for planning purposes. The only possible complication in such an arrangement would be the introduction of some other operation which would change planning.

Admiral King said that Russian concurrence should be obtained on the planning date.

General Marshall suggested that the course of action should be as follows:

a. Obtain Russian concurrence to a planning date of 1 July 1945 for the end of the war with Germany, and

b. Detach a suitable number of personnel from Magneto to make room for the shipping personnel ordered from Cricket to complete the shipping studies at this place.

After further discussion,

The Joint Chiefs of Staff:

a. Agreed to seek Russian concurrence on the date of 1 July 1945 as the date of the collapse of Germany.

b. Agreed to accept the proposals of the British Chiefs of Staff contained in their memorandum of 4 February 1945 and directed the Secretaries to take necessary action.

3. Allocation of Zones of Occupation in Germany
(J. C. S. 577/26)5

Reference: SCAF 1985

Admiral Leahy said that this subject had been under consideration by the United States and British Chiefs of Staff in Washington. J. C. S. 577/26 was the report of the Joint Logistics Committee on its own initiative, recommending the acceptance of the British proposal subject to certain amendments set forth in Appendix “A” of this paper.

General Marshall explained that J. C. S. 577/26 is the last of a long series of papers pertaining to the controversy with the British [Page 593]concerning the Bremen-Bremerhaven area. General Macready wrote a letter to Mr. McCloy on 20 January offering an agreement which is on page 223.6 Mr. McCloy wrote a letter back saying that this agreement was acceptable providing its meaning was in accordance with specifications which he named.

The Joint Logistics Committee in this paper has proposed a 4¼ page memorandum to the British in which the argument is somewhat unbending and proposes an agreement which amounts to amending General Macready’s proposal to include Mr. McCloy’s interpretations. Mr. McCloy’s letter is not attached to the paper.

Failure to reach agreement on this paper is holding up the protocol on the zones of occupation in Germany.7 In an effort to make more certain that this controversy will be halted, it is recommended that the action adopted be substituted for the proposal by the Joint Logistics Committee. This action consists of a presentation to the British of a short memorandum, with the draft agreement proposed by the JLC, and General Macready’s letter to Mr. McCloy.

General Marshall then distributed copies of the memorandum to be presented to the British in lieu of the memorandum proposed by the Joint Logistics Committee.

After further discussion,

The Joint Chiefs of Staff:—

Agreed to present to the Combined Chiefs of Staff the memorandum proposed by General Marshall, with the draft agreement proposed by the Joint Logistics Committee and General Macready’s letter to Mr. McCloy attached thereto. (Subsequently circulated as C. C. S. 320/35)8

4. Russian Participation in the War Against Japan
(J. C. S. 1176/10, J. C. S. 1176/11)9

Admiral Leahy said that in the papers under consideration the Joint Staff Planners recommend memoranda bearing on the war against Japan to be presented to the Soviet General Staff.10 He questioned whether the Russians would understand the memoranda when they received them.

Admiral Duncan explained that the memorandum embodied in J. C. S. 1176/11 had to do with a special U. S. planning staff in Moscow and would be understood by the Russians.

General Deane explained further that this planning group had already had one meeting with the Russian Staff in Moscow previous to this conference and this memorandum was intended to facilitate [Page 594]the work of the planning group. There has been delay in the work of the reconnaissance party mentioned therein due to the fact that some Japanese had been allowed to remain in Kamchatka. As soon as they have been removed the American planning staff would be permitted to travel in that territory. He suggested that the memorandum be approved and handed to the Russians at a bilateral meeting which he felt was necessary. He recommended further that the President should be asked to request from Marshal Stalin the Soviet answers to two questions of paramount importance. The basic question is whether the Russians will require a Pacific supply line. The next question concerns Soviet agreement to establishment of U. S. air forces in Eastern Siberia. These questions should be put to the Soviets and definite answers requested.

General Marshall agreed and recommended approval of the memorandum for transmission to the Russians, preliminary to a meeting with them. He recommended further that a memorandum be prepared for the President to present to Marshal Stalin as follows:

“The following are two basic military questions to which the United States Chiefs of Staff would appreciate an early answer at this conference:

Once war breaks out between Russia and Japan, is it essential to you that a supply line be kept open across the Pacific to Eastern Siberia?
Will you assure us that United States air forces will be permitted to base in the Komsomolsk-Nikolaevsk or some more suitable area providing developments show that these air forces can be operated and supplied without jeopardizing Russian operations?”

In reply to a question by General Marshall, General Deane said that the memorandum he had proposed was entirely satisfactory. He thought that after discussion of the two basic questions with the Russian Staff we should outline the main points and request the President to ask Marshal Stalin for a fiat approval or disapproval of them. The Russian Staff have already disapproved a U. S. move into Eastern Siberia and he felt that they would not change this decision without a direct approval from the highest level.

After further discussion,

The Joint Chiefs of Staff:—

a. Approved the recommendations of the Joint Staff Planners in J. C. S. 1176/10 and 1176/11.11

b. Agreed to send to the President the memorandum proposed by General Marshall, with a request that it be presented to Marshal Stalin.12

  1. J. C. S. 188th Meeting.
  2. Ante, pp. 530534.
  3. Not printed.
  4. See C. C. S. 772, January 30, 1945, under Malta Conference, ante, pp. 478480.
  5. Not printed.
  6. Not printed.
  7. Ante, pp. 199201.
  8. For the text of this protocol, see ante, pp. 118123.
  9. Post, pp. 637639.
  10. Not printed.
  11. The two memoranda are printed post, pp. 760765.
  12. The two memoranda embodied in these papers were sent by Leahy to the representatives of the Soviet General Staff on February 5, 1945.
  13. The memorandum was sent by the President to Marshal Stalin on February 5, 1945 (Roosevelt Papers).