711.5875/4–1151

The Acting Secretary of the Army (Alexander) to the Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern, South Asian, and African Affairs (Berry)

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Dear Mr. Berry : I am pleased to reply to your letter of 30 March 19511 in which you requested that consideration be given to the visit of a well-known and high-ranking general officer to Ethiopia.

In keeping with your feelings on the importance of the matter, I have selected an officer who in my opinion is eminently qualified for this mission. I propose to send Lieutenant General Charles L. Bolte, Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans, United States Army.

General Bolte has had a long and distinguished record in the Army. He is a graduate of the Command and General Staff School and the Army War College. He has held such important positions as Chief of Staff of Army Ground Forces, Director of the Special Joint Planning Group, and Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations. He was recently appointed Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans. In addition to this, General Bolte is the Army Member of the Operations Deputies of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Chairman of the Inter-American Defense Board.

General Bolte participated in World War I as a company grade officer and was wounded in action. He commanded the 34th Infantry Division in the Italian Theater in World War II. For gallantry in action and for meritorious service to his country, General Bolte has been awarded the following decorations: Distinguished Service Medal, the Silver Star, the Legion of Merit and the Purple Heart as well as many foreign decorations.

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1 am sure you will agree that General Bolte will be recognized by the Emperor as a distinguished soldier and highly important member of the General Staff. Because of General Bolte’s closeness to General Collins, the Emperor will undoubtedly regard him as the logical representative of the Chief of Staff.

General Bolte will leave for Europe in May and will be in Frankfurt about 10 June from which point he can depart for Ethiopia by air. I would appreciate your comments on the selection of General Bolte and whether or not the time of his visit will be suitable.

Sincerely yours,

Archibald S. Alexander
  1. On March 30 Berry replied to Pace’s letter of March 16 to McGhee. He informed Pace the Department of State believed American objectives required a well-known U.S. general with imposing credentials, who could explain to the Emperor the U.S. conception of Ethiopia’s role in the defense of the non-Communist world, and dissuade the Emperor from military expenditures beyond Ethiopia’s needs and capacity to pay. (711.5875/3–1651)