740.5/2–251: Telegram

The United States Deputy High Commissioner for Germany ( Hays ) to the Secretary of State 1

top secret

500. Eyes only for Byroade from Hays. It has been tripartitely agreed that I, as chairman, would start off our meeting tomorrow with this statement:

“At our last meeting, held January 26, the representatives of HICOM agreed to inform the German representatives in regard to the matters that have been discussed up to this time, which items we considered would be acceptable, where there might be difficulties, under the terms of our instructions.

“The principle—that the military contribution of Germany must be within the framework of the military establishment created under the North Atlantic Treaty Organization has been accepted by the German delegation and therefore provides no difficulties.

“The German proposals in regard to their general plans for recruitment and conscription we consider would also not involve any difficulties.

“As regards the equipment and armament of the German contingents, we have as yet to hear a detailed discussion on this problem, but it should be kept in mind that to a large extent the capacities of the armament industries of the NATO countries will be needed for equipping their own troops.

“At the second meeting, held January 16, Mr. Blank outlined five pre-conditions which he stated should be met before the Germans could agree to a military contribution. As most of these pre-conditions are of a political nature and beyond the competence of our committee, I am not in a position to comment on whether or not difficulties will be encountered in meeting these pre-conditions.

[Page 1004]

“As regards the German proposal for the creation of a federal office under civilian control in charge of administration and personnel, we have not received the German proposals in detail, but from what has been discussed on this subject so far we do not foresee any major difficulties.

“As regards the German plan to recruit and train nuclei and cadres, establish schools, et cetera, we see no difficulties which will arise in regard to the German proposals with respect to training, and we will explore, with our military commanders, the extent to which they are able to give Allied assistance in conformity with this plan.

“As regards the selection and appointment of officers, we welcome the German statement that appropriate measures will be taken to ensure the appointment of officers who will maintain democratic ideals.

“Regarding the availability of armament, we shall first have to have further discussions on what equipment can be produced in Germany, and then determine how the equipment that cannot be produced in Germany can be supplied.

“As regards the legal aspects of the German contribution under international law, I should like to defer comment on this matter until we have received advice from our experts.

“Regarding the German plan for accommodations for German contingents, we foresee no difficulties. We should like, however, to be kept informed of the location of any camps to be constructed and the training areas, in order that we can ensure the coordination of the needs of the German forces with those of other NATO forces in the same general area.

“Regarding the German proposals on the size, organization and composition of the German units under the combat team or brigade group formula, I should like to say that we find the German proposals of great interest and have forwarded them to our respective governments. In this connection I would like to repeat the instructions we have been issued in regard to this matter, which are as follows:

  • ‘The size of German formations to be constituted should not under present conditions exceed that of regimental combat-teams or brigade groups. However, when these regimental combat-teams or brigade groups are formed and trained, the question of the manner in which they should be used must be determined in the light of conditions at the time; due weight being given to the views of the Supreme Commander.
  • ‘The aim is to obtain with the utmost dispatch formations capable of fighting effectively. To this end, the formation of small units should be started in the immediate future, and these gradually built up to units of the required size and so contribute to the ability of the Allies to ensure the defense of Western Europe. This requirement is a primary concern, and any solution which prejudices it should not be accepted.’

“In view of these instructions, it would be useful if the German delegation would consider what measures can be taken to prevent any delay in the formation and training of German units.

“As regards the comments by the German delegation on the necessity for intermediate commands, these comments were also referred to our governments. Our instructions do not authorize the establishment of [Page 1005] such headquarters. The decision in regard to the type and kinds of intermediate higher headquarters between the Supreme Command and the divisions is a matter that will be influenced by the decisions taken at the Paris Conference on the European Army and by the views of the Supreme Commander. From the discussions we have heard to date of the German proposals in regard to tactical air forces, we foresee no difficulty provided it is understood that the German tactical air forces would also be a part of the integrated air forces under the Supreme Commander.

“Regarding the need for naval contingents for harbor defense and coastal protection, we see no difficulties in connection with the German proposals which have been made.”

[ Hays ]
  1. Repeated to Frankfurt eyes only for McCloy and to Heidelberg eyes only for Handy.