859B.20/7–1145

The Acting Secretary of State to the Danish Minister ( Kauffmann )

The Acting Secretary of State presents his compliments to the Honorable the Minister of Denmark and, with reference to Mr. Kauffmann’s note dated July 11, 1945,48 has the honor to transmit the following information with regard to defense measures taken by the United States Army in Greenland during the period of German occupation in Denmark:

The United States Forces in Greenland were assigned the mission to protect airbases and the cryolite mine at Ivigtut, and to deny Greenland to the enemy. Adaptability of areas for installation of airfields was the first consideration governing location of forces. Since these areas were of the same value to Germany as to the United States, these, in addition to the cryolite mine, were the localities actively defended.

The United States Army Forces in Greenland consisted of sea-coast artillery units, anti-motor torpedo boat batteries, antiaircraft batteries, infantry troops, a specially trained air search and rescue squadron for arctic operations and the necessary service troops to supply and maintain the forces.

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The size of the forces and their disposition to protect United States installations were altered consistent with the capabilities of the enemy to interfere with the assigned mission.

Germany attempted to maintain weather reporting stations on the east coast of Greenland, but with excellent cooperation and assistance of the Greenland Administration these stations were successfully eliminated.

  1. Not printed; it requested on behalf of the Danish Minister for Defense information about the defense measures taken by the United States military authorities during the years of German occupation of Denmark (859B.20/7–1145).