EUR files, lot 59 D 233

Briefing Book Prepared in the Department of State for the Supreme Allied Commander, Europe (Eisenhower)2

top secret

I. General Comments


1. The three European Regional Planning Groups have each prepared short and medium term plans. The former are capabilities plans, based on forces available as of 1 September 1950; the latter are requirements plans based on a planning date of 1 July 1954. The short term plans have been accepted by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) as a basis for initiating operations in the event of an emergency, but are subject to review at an early date as additional forces become available. The medium term plans have been integrated into an approved NATO Medium Term Defense Plan.

2. western european region

a. Short Term Plan.

(1) The regional aim is to hold the enemy as far to the East as possible. … It is also intended to defend the home territories against air attack, airborne and parachute attack and sabotage; and to defend coastal waters and ports against seaborne attack.

[Page 461]

(2) It should be noted that this plan contains no provision for successive delaying actions west of the Rhine. Although Field Marshal Montgomery, as Chairman of the Western Union Chiefs of Staff Committee,3 had proposed a broad strategy which contemplated plans for the possibility of such a line of action, this proposal was disapproved by the Western Union Chiefs of Staff for political and psychological reasons. …

(3) Other major deficiencies evidenced by this plan are: inadequacy of available combat forces; maldeployment of peacetime land and air forces; inadequate provision for psychological warfare, operational and logistics plans, warning of aggression, support of the strategic air offensive, stockpiles (strategic and tactical), lack of mutual aid among member nations and of measures for remedying equipment and training deficiencies.

b. Medium Term Plan.

(1) The strategic concept is to hold the enemy as far to the East in Germany as possible, and by using all offensive and defensive means available to deny him freedom of action, in order to cover the mobilization and concentration of regional and allied military potential required to reinforce the defense forces and assume the offensive. The objectives envisaged in pushing the line of defense as far to the east as possible are: to cover the whole of the Netherlands, Italy, and Denmark and assist the demands of the other regions; to retain Western Germany; to deny the enemy the use of bases on the North Sea Coast and give the Allies the opportunity to act offensively in the Baltic; to give depth to the ground and air defense of Western Europe.

(2) Principal deficiencies of this plan are: failure to adequately define the area of the land defense; failure to provide for closing the gap between the force requirements contained in the plan and agreed national contributions: specially concerning air and naval forces; lack of any statement of requirements beyond the first phase of operations (stemming the initial enemy assault).

c. Command Structure. There exists at present as a part of the Western Union Defense Organization, the Commanders-in-Chief Committee. This organization, originally conceived to execute command [Page 462]in case of war over the forces allocated them by Western Union and the United States, consists of land, sea and air commanders and a skeletonized international staff. Elements of this structure will probably be made available to SHAPE for use either on the SHAPE staff or as part of a subordinate command.

d. Infrastructure. The term infrastructure is used to define the static items of capital expenditure which are required to provide the material backing for operational plans necessary to enable the higher command to function and the various forces to operate with efficiency. An infrastructure program has been evolved by Western Union and recently made a part of the North Atlantic Treaty defense plans. The Brussels Treaty powers4 have agreed to contribute as a first essential increment, £33,000,000 ($92,500,000) for the construction of a war headquarters, signal communications, airfields, logistical requirements, equipment for airfield construction and GEE coverage. Although some progress has been made in the implementation of this program, a sense of urgency appears lacking.

3. emmo region

a. Short Term Plan.

(1) The aim of the EMMO (Europe Meridonale–Mediterranean Occidentale) Short Term Plan is defined as follows: In cooperation with the bordering NATO groups, to defend as far to the North and East as possible the area under its responsibility, including the vital air and sea lines of communications. Although this plan fulfills the requirements of the Standing Group directive, the deficiencies are the same as listed in para 2a (3) above.

b. Medium Term Plan.

(1) The aim of the Medium Term Plan is the same as that set forth in the Short Term Plan. Militarily the plan is sound although a gap exists between the force requirements and the agreed national contributions. It provides as in the other regions only for first phase requirements, with the result that the magnitude of forces and resources necessary for a sustained defense and the offensive required to defeat the enemy are not developed.

c. Command Structure.

The EMMO Region is in the process of approving the establishment of a “Couverture Command in Italy”. This command is to be responsible for forces deployed in north Italy during the early stages of a conflict. The headquarters will eventually be located in Northern Italy, however, until such time as the necessary facilities are available in [Page 463]Northern Italy, the Command Group will form along side the Italian Staff in Rome. Planning indicates that the ultimate location of this headquarters will be Verona.

d. Infrastructure.

There is no approved infrastructure program in the EMMO Region. This problem is currently under study and is to be incorporated in the Revised Medium Term Plan when the program is approved.

4. northern european region

a. Short Term Plan.

(1) The regional aim is to resist invasion of national territories and, if forced back, to deny to the enemy areas of strategic importance for as long as possible and finally to hold a defensible area. …

(2) A major deficiency of the plan is the lack of a detailed demolition policy and plan. Deficiencies evidenced by the plan are the same as those listed in para 2a(3) above and additionally the inadequate development of the proper troop basis to insure forces capable of efficient and sustained combat.

b. Medium Term Plan.

(1) The plan is aimed at developing and maintaining a regional defense structure strong enough to deter Soviet and satellite aggression, and, in the event of aggression to defend the region against all forms of attack, and in conjunction with other regions prepare for and initiate offensive actions against the enemy. Lines of action in the Medium Term Plan are essentially the same as those in the Short Term Plan with the exception that retreat is not envisaged as a necessary probability. In addition the plan envisages offensive naval operations in the Baltic.

(2) Principal deficiencies of this plan are:

Failure to provide for closing the gap between the force requirements contained in the plan and agreed national contributions, lack of any statement of requirements and plans beyond the first phase of operations, lack of adequate logistical and infrastructure preparation to support the necessary forces both regional and from other regions.

c. Command Structure.

(1) Although a tentative command structure has been prepared, it has never been formally approved for more than planning. A Commander Designate has been appointed, however, by the Danish Chiefs of Staff for the Jutland Land Forces which forces will include the Danish, Norwegian and British units now stationed in Schleswig-Holstein, these latter units forming the South Jutland Covering Land [Page 464]Forces. The Norwegian Commander in this area has been appointed Commander Designate of the South Jutland Covering Land Forces.

d. Infrastructure.

(1) In the Short Term Plan, the guidance for infrastructure requirements is insufficient. In the Medium Term Plan, the plans and guidance for infrastructure are relatively greatly improved but the implementation of this guidance has been slight, due largely to the lack of a definite regional command organization.

5. base rights

An additional important deficiency, common to all three Regions in both Short and Medium Term Plans is the lack of detailed requirements for military bases, rights and facilities, since the implementation of these plans will require, in certain instances, that other than indigenous forces be stationed upon the national territories of certain European NATO nations. On 28 October 1950 the Defense Committee5 approved a proposed procedure whereby agreements would be undertaken between NAT governments regarding military operating requirements resulting from NAT defense plans. This procedure was approved by the Council Deputies on 8 December 1950. Pending before the Council Deputies is a proposed addendum by the U.S. which would relate the duration of such agreements to a determination by the Council that military requirements continue to exist.

  1. For documentation regarding the discussions and considerations leading to the decision in December of 1950 to designate General Eisenhower as Supreme Allied Commander in Europe (SACEUR), see ibid .
  2. Reference is to the Western European Union, a military alliance established by the Five-Power Treaty of Brussels in 1948 including the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands. For documentation on U.S. encouragement of a Western European Union in 1948, see Foreign Relations, 1948, vol. iii, pp. 1 351.
  3. See footnote 3 above.
  4. North Atlantic Council Defense Committee. See chart, p. 459.