740.0011 E.W./1–1845

The Acting Secretary of State to the Norwegian Ambassador (Morgenstierne)

Excellency: I have the honor to refer to Your Excellency’s note number 29, dated January 18, 1945 in regard to the desire of the Norwegian Government that necessary facilities be provided to send a combined Norwegian military expedition to Northern Norway with a view to protecting the population against further enemy raids, providing them with the necessary supplies, and continuing the liberation of the country as circumstances permit. The proposal was referred to the Combined Chiefs of Staff who, after careful consideration of all aspects of the matter, have informed me, through the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff, in the following sense:

“The Combined Chiefs of Staff fully appreciate the desirability and the urgency of taking all possible steps to alleviate conditions in northern Norway, and to assist the Norwegian Government in assuming control of the liberated areas. However, the scale of the proposed plan has definite military objections when considered in conjunction with the requirements of current operations. These military objections are, in particular:

Certain of the naval units and the especially trained and equipped No. 333 R.A.F.71 Squadron (Norwegian) are fully employed in countering the present U-boat offensive.
The shipping requirement for the dispatch and maintenance of this force in addition to that necessary for the relief of the liberated area would be a further demand on the already acute over-all shipping position.
The Supreme Commander, Allied Expeditionary Force, is unable to accept the maintenance commitment for these proposals and it is considered that there is a grave risk of administrative breakdown in view of the lack of trained Norwegian administrative units.
A German withdrawal or possible counter offensive would, in all probability, lead to calls for increased support that cannot be met at this stage of the war.

“In view of the above, the Combined Chiefs of Staff regret that they are unable to accept the Norwegian Government’s plan as at [Page 63] present proposed. They suggest that the Norwegian Government be asked to reconsider their plans confining their proposals to those measures required to ensure minimum proper supervision of relief in the liberated area. Should the revised plans require additional forces, the Combined Chiefs of Staff might be willing to release Norwegian naval units (with some exceptions) and land forces and to consider the substitution of a Norwegian Spitfire Squadron now employed with Second Tactical Air Force in France in lieu of No. 333 Squadron RAF which is presently employed in anti-submarine patrol. Since the provision and shipment of supplies for these forces cannot be promised at this juncture, the Norwegians should be asked to keep the commitment to a minimum and to make clear their requirements and the extent to which these can be met from Swedish sources when they submit their revised plans.”

Accept [etc.]

Joseph C. Grew
  1. Royal Air Force.